Edward Munroe Bates Jr. left Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, Massachusetts in July 1940 to enlist in the Naval Reserve. He was commissioned as an ensign that November and joined the crew of the U.S.S. Arizona. He was killed in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941.
At school he was on the basketball team, president of his fraternity — Lambda Chi Alpha — and president of the student chapter of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. He would have graduated in 1941.
A transport ship, the U.S.S. Bates, was commissioned as a destroyer escort, then converted to a high-speed transport. His mother, Elizabeth Nason Bates, sponsored the ship when it was launched in 1943. The ship was attacked by three Japanese kamikazes off of Okinawa in May 1945. Another ship got a line on the burning Bates and tried to tow it, but the ship sank. Twenty-one men died.
Bates Road in Great Neck, New York is named in memory of Mr. Bates.
He was born Sept. 19, 1919. His father, Edward Sr., an officer of the New Provident Loan Society, served in World War I. The youngest son, Robert, served in the Navy during World War II.
Sources: The Brooklyn Daily Eagle of Brooklyn, New York; the Orlando (Florida) Sentinel; Worcester Polytechnic Institute’s Facebook page; US Navy press release about the USS Bates; Navy death record; U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs death files; Census. This profile was researched and written on behalf of the U.S.S. Arizona Mall Memorial at the University of Arizona.