Willard Charles Aves USS Arizona

F2c Willard Charles Aves

Willard Charles Aves,“Bill” was four in 1925 when his mother died in childbirth, leaving his father with three young children.

The Depression was tough on the Aves family, as it was for most Americans. The father lost the grocery store he operated in Kingston, Illinois in farm country northwest of Chicago. He then worked for farmers and fished and planted gardens to raise food for his family. 

Bill delivered newspapers and played basketball at Kingston High. He graduated in 1940 and  enlisted in the Navy that October.

He was a fireman second class on the U.S.S. Arizona when he was killed in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941.

He was born June 28, 1921 to Charles Aves and Mamie Gliddon Aves.

A memorial service in his memory was held in February 1942 at the Methodist church in Kingston. American Legion Post 1010 was named in his honor.

Willard Charles AVES USS Arizona

Sources: A personal biography written by Mr. Aves’ sister Irene; the Republican-Northwestern of Belvidere, Illinois; The Daily Chronicle of Dekalb, Illinois; Illinois death records; Census; Navy muster roll. Navy photo. 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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