William Edmond Bennett Jr. was born on May 20, 1917, at Paducah, Kentucky, the third child of W. E. Bennett Sr. and Zilpah Poal [or Zilpoh Pool] Bennett.
He enlisted in the Navy on Feb. 9, 1937. He was a yeoman and petty officer third class on the U.S.S. Arizona when he was killed in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941.
Publicly available records reveal almost nothing about his childhood. His father married Edna Matthes in Illinois in about 1932. The father was a salesman and lived at Doniphan, Missouri when he died in 1953.
Sources: the Southern Illinoisan of Carbondale, Illinois; Kentucky birth record; Navy muster roll; Census; Missouri death certificate. This profile was researched and written on behalf of the U.S.S. Arizona Mall Memorial at the University of Arizona.