S1c Bill Walker

Unknown Sailor

S1c Bill Walker

Bill Walker was born July 14, 1922 per his enlistment papers and was still an infant when his mother, Samantha Thornton Walker, died at Trinity in east-central Texas in 1924. His father, John Willie Walker, a sawyer at sawmills, was left with at least three children under age 12.

By the time of the spring 1930 Census the father had remarried and had two more sons.

Tragedy struck again when the father died in November 1932 at Trinity, population a bit over 2,000.

Bill enlisted in the Navy on July 15, 1940 and was a seaman first class on the U.S.S. Arizona when he was killed in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941.

The enlistment date was a day after Bill’s ostensible 18th birthday. But Texas birth records say a J. W. Walker Jr. was born to Samantha Thornton Walker in Trinity two days later – on July 16, 1922 with no indication of a twin birth two days delayed or otherwise. The certificate says the baby was Samantha Walker’s seventh child and that five of those children were still living.


Sources: Census; Navy muster roll; grave markers; 1917 military registration card; Texas death certificates. This profile was researched and written on behalf of the U.S.S. Arizona Mall Memorial at the University of Arizona.

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