QM2c William Howard Peavey


QM2c William Howard Peavey

When “Billy” Peavey was 14, he shot skeet at the Iowa Falls gun club in central Iowa in preparation for the opening of the fall duck-hunting season.

The local newspaper reported that he used a 20-gauge shotgun to score 13 out of 25 on a windy day, “almost as effective as the best of the adults with their heavier bore guns.”

Billy, born William Howard, went on to attend high school at Iowa Falls and then at Fairfield 125 miles to the southeast, where he graduated in 1937. He played football, basketball, and baseball on school and club teams.

He enlisted in the Navy on Oct. 5, 1938, and became honor man of his training company of 85 recruits in San Diego. At that training center, one man was chosen each week for demonstrating ability, zeal, and loyalty, reported the Fairfield (Iowa) Daily Ledger.

Mr. Peavey was a quartermaster and petty officer 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 Oct. 10, 1919 in Centerville 120 miles south of Iowa Falls to Harry Peavey, a railroad machinist, and Mary Holland Peavey, a homemaker. His father was an infantry captain in World War I and his older brother, Robert, served in the Navy in World War II.

American Legion Post 188 in Iowa Falls was named for Mr. Peavey and for W. Paul Hyman, the first Iowa Falls man killed in World War I.


Sources: the Ottumwa (Iowa) Daily Courier; the Hardin County (Iowa) Times; the Mason City (Iowa) Globe-Gazette; the Fairfield (Iowa) Daily Ledger; Navy muster roll; Census; Iowa birth record; U.S. Adjutant General Military Record. 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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