F3c William Lafayette Watson

Unknown Sailor

F3c William Lafayette Watson

William Lafayette “Roscoe” Watson had served aboard the U.S.S. Arizona less than three weeks when he was killed in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941.

A fireman third class, he enlisted in April 1941 and sailed from San Diego to Pearl Harbor that November to join the crew of the Arizona.

Mr. Watson was born March 13, 1920 in Havana, Florida, a panhandle town of about 1,200. His mother, Madeline Furgerson Watson, was a teacher and his father, John Burton Watson, a farmer. The son graduated from Havana High School in 1938. His only sibling was a younger sister, Nina.

Roscoe Watson Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8120 in Havana was named in his honor. His name is included as a cenotaph on his parents’ grave marker at Shelfer Cemetery in Havana.


Sources: Havana (Florida) Herald; Census; Navy muster rolls; obituaries for his mother and sister. 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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