S2c Joseph William Will

Unknown Sailor

S2c Joseph William Will

Joseph William Will was born in Hugo, Colorado 75 miles east-northeast of Colorado Springs on May 4, 1919. His mother, Nellie Clifford Will, was a homemaker, and his father, James Will, a farmer.

By the time of the spring 1940 Census the son had graduated from high school and worked for the Union Pacific Railroad. The year before he worked 20 weeks and earned $360 – the equivalent of about $7,000 in 2022 dollars.

He left Hugo, population 852, in February 1941 to enlist in the Navy. Mr. Will was a seaman second class on the U.S.S. Arizona when he was killed in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941.

Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6612 in Hugo was named in his honor.


Sources: The Denver Catholic Register; the denverchannel.com; Census; Navy muster roll; World War II draft registration card; photo of VFW Post 6612. 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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