COX William E. Ward

Unknown Sailor

COX William E. Ward

William E. Ward was born Jan. 27, 1919 in Stonington, Illinois 25 miles southeast of Springfield. His mother, Ella Renford Ward, was a homemaker and his father, Ernest Ward, a coal miner who had immigrated from England.

The son, known as Bill or Billy, graduated from the local high school in 1937. He was senior class president and played football, basketball, track and baseball. He also performed in the boys chorus and in plays.

Mr. Ward left the central Illinois town, population 1,100, in May 1939 to enlist in the Navy. He was a coxswain and petty officer third class on the U.S.S. Arizona when he was killed in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941.

His brother John served in the Army during World War II.


Sources: The Decatur (Illinois) Herald; Census; Navy muster roll; gravestone; Stonington HIgh School yearbook. 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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