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Birthdate & Date of Loss

Date of birth: June 13, 1922
Date of death: July 23, 1953
Age: 31

Lucky Bag

1946 Austin LB.jpg

From the 1946 Lucky Bag:

William Reynolds Austin

Trenton, Missouri

Bill definitely put Trenton, "Moh," on the map when he exchanged his frat house luxuries for BancroftHall. As a midshipman he has accumulated a host of friends, and with his unusual personality he will continue to gain more. Holding down an important berth on his company or battalion athletic squad took up much of Bill's time. Since his interest in the fairer sex was highly concentrated in his home town O.A.O., he often devoted his week-ends to Reception Committee work, bridge games, and snaking on his wife at hops. His many friends wish him all sorts of luck.

The Class of 1946 was graduated in June 1945 due to World War II. The entirety of 2nd class (junior) year was removed from the curriculum.


From Chillicothe Constitution-Tribune of Chillicothe, Missouri, on July 24, 1953:

Lieut. William R. Austin, 31, U. S. Navy jet pilot and husband of the former Anne Meinershagen of Chillicothe, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Julius Meinershagen, lost his life yesterday when his plane crashed at sea 45 miles from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. His body was not recovered.

Mrs. Austin and two children, Dave, 6, and Ellen, 3, were at Trenton yesterday when the news was received. Her father brought them to Chillicothe this morning and they will return this evening to Trenton. The Austins had been visiting back and forth at Chillicothe and Trenton while Lieutenant Austin was on a 9-week cruise.

His parents are Mr. and Mrs. Wilbur Austin of Trenton.

The lieutenant was flying a Panther jet from the aircraft carrier USS Wasp. No details of the crash were learned. Austin was to have been an instructor after completing the summer training cruise. Lieutenant Austin was a 1940 graduate of the Trenton high school. He attended the United States Naval Academy and was graduated and commissioned an ensign in 1945. He had been stationed at Norfolk, Va.; Pensacola, Fla.; Washington, D. C.; Brooklyn, N. Y., and Corpus Christi, Tex. For some time, the Austins had been at Jacksonville. Fla. The couple's son was born at Chillicothe in December, 194S. Ellen was born in October, 1949, at Pensacola. Mrs. Austin received the following telegram notifying her of the death: 'I regret to inform you that your husband, Lieut. William Reynolds Austin. U. S. Navy, was killed on 23 July 1953 when his plane crashed at sea 45 miles from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. I regret that his body was not recovered. Your husband died while serving his country and I extend to you my sincerest sympathy in your great loss.—Vice Admiral J. L. Holloway, jr.. Chief of Naval Personnel."

He has a memory marker in Missouri.

Related Articles

William Armstrong, Jr. '46 and Bennett Hooks '46 were also members of 17th Company.

Class Navigation

Class of 1946
William is one of 35 members of the Class of 1946 in Memorial Hall.
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