F1c William Nicholas Royals


F1c William Nicholas Royals

William Nicholas Royals was born Jan. 1, 1921 in Norfolk or old Norfolk County, Virginia. His mother, Mary Ann Denning Royals, was a homemaker, and his father, Ira Calvin Royals, a farmer. He was the youngest of their four sons.

The family left North Carolina shortly before William’s birth and moved a little over 10 miles into Virginia to the small settlement of Deep Creek, a once busy old stage stop dating to the 1700s in what is now Chesapeake near the Great Dismal Swamp. 

William was 13 when his father died of pneumonia in 1934.

He enlisted in the Navy on Sept. 11, 1939. Mr. Royals was a fireman first class on the U.S.S. Arizona when he was killed in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941.

There is a cenotaph in his memory in Portsmouth, Virginia at Olive Branch Cemetery. His parents are buried there.

At least one brother, John, served in the Army Air Corps from September 1942 through December 1945.

Sources: Virginia birth and death records; grave markers; Census; Navy muster roll; U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs death file. 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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