WILLIAM V. RAFFERTY, JR., LT, USN

From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall
William Rafferty, Jr. '44

Date of birth: March 11, 1921

Date of death: June 13, 1946

Age: 25

Lucky Bag

From the 1944 Lucky Bag:

1944 Rafferty LB.jpg

William Vincent Rafferty, Jr.

East Orange, New Jersey

Never can it be said that Bill Rafferty wasted a spare moment during his three years at the Academy. A glance at some of his achievements will prove that he was red-blooded, in addition to being red-headed and a confirmed "Red Mike." An outstanding member of the track and gym teams, he practiced diligently his rope climbing and pole vaulting with one thought in mind: to crack the existing record. He excelled in academics even though diverted by his many extra-curricular activities. Painting, etching and photography helped make his Academy life complete. As a well-rounded officer, Bill will be a welcome shipmate.


The Class of 1944 was graduated in June 1943 due to World War II. The entirety of 2nd class (junior) year was removed from the curriculum.

1944 Rafferty LB.jpg

William Vincent Rafferty, Jr.

East Orange, New Jersey

Never can it be said that Bill Rafferty wasted a spare moment during his three years at the Academy. A glance at some of his achievements will prove that he was red-blooded, in addition to being red-headed and a confirmed "Red Mike." An outstanding member of the track and gym teams, he practiced diligently his rope climbing and pole vaulting with one thought in mind: to crack the existing record. He excelled in academics even though diverted by his many extra-curricular activities. Painting, etching and photography helped make his Academy life complete. As a well-rounded officer, Bill will be a welcome shipmate.


The Class of 1944 was graduated in June 1943 due to World War II. The entirety of 2nd class (junior) year was removed from the curriculum.

Loss

William was lost on June 13, 1946 when his aircraft "went missing on a routine training flight over Gulf of Mexico." (Information from September 1946 issue of Shipmate.)

From the Courier News on July 25, 1946:

Judge William V. Rafferty, of East Orange, a former resident of Plainfield whose son, Lieut. William V. Rafferty Jr. has been missing since he participated in an airplane training flight off Pensacola more than a month ago, today received a letter from the Navy Department saying there were no new developments in the search for the young officer, believed to have crashed in the Gulf of Mexico.

The pilot, 25 years old, who was a member of the Class of 1944 at Annapolis, started active service in the Navy in 1943 because of the stepped-up schedule caused by the war and served in the Pacific aboard a destroyer. At the conclusion of the war Lieutenant Rafferty decided to go in for the air arm of the Navy and received his wings as a pilot in April of this year.

His plane was one in a squadron which was on a routine training flight over the Gulf of Mexico on June 13. After the run on the target, the planes rendezvoused for the return flight to the base. Not until then was it discovered that |Lieutenant Rafferty’s plane was missing. None of the other pilots had witnessed the crash during operations and no trace of pilot or plane have been since found.

Judge and Mrs. Rafferty reside at 18 S. Munn Ave., East Orange. Four aunts of the missing naval officer live in Plainfield, they being the Misses Grace, Elizabeth and Mary Rafferty of 22 Sandford Ave. and Mrs. Helen Dwyer.

Related Articles

Benjamin Vaughan ’44 was also on the gymnastics team.


Class of 1944

William is one of 66 members of the Class of 1944 on Virtual Memorial Hall.

The "category" links below lead to lists of related Honorees; use them to explore further the service and sacrifice of alumni in Memorial Hall.