Willie E. Cook

USS West Virginia

Willie E. Cook, Chief Radioman, born Feb. 28, 1919, Jacksonville, TX, graduated high school and completed special courses relating to his profession as a sales engineer of steel products.

Joined the USN Nov. 9, 1939, and was stationed at San Diego, CA, for boot camp until Jan. 19, 1940; 1940, Long Beach, CA; April 1940-Dec. 7, 1941, Pearl Harbor, HI; September 1943-April 1944, detached duty with the 5th Mar. Defense Bn. on the island of Funa-Futi in the South Pacific; November 1944, Finschhafen, New Guinea; December 1944, Leyte, Samar, Tacloban, Cavite, Clark Field, Bataan.  From Feb. 2, 1945-Sept. 1, 1945, assigned to the staff of Adm. Thomas C. Kinkaid, commander of the 7th Fleet, Manila, Philippine Islands, as chief radioman and communicator; Sept. 2, 1945-Nov. 2, 1945, assigned temporarily to the staff of commander Phil Sea Frontier; and on Dec. 5, 1945, after six years and 28 days of active duty, five years of which was served in the Pacific, he was discharged from the USN.

Awards include the PH Medal, WWIIVM, ADSM w/Clasp Fleet, ACM, APCM w/Battle Stars, Combat Action Ribbon, USNR Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, Joint Service Medals, PLR, GCM and the PH Commemorative Ribbon.

Memorable Experiences: Dec. 7, 1941, when he was wounded, knocked unconscious, blown overboard and miraculously
rescued from the "burning, oily water" by a life boat from the hospital ship USS Solace; April 12, 1945, on the staff of Com. 7th Fleet in Manila, copied President Roosevelt's death message; Aug. 16, 1945, Manila copied Gen. MacArthur's surrender instructions to the Japanese; Dec. 16, 1941, reported he was killed in action and Dec. 20, 1941, received wire, advising he was alive, but wounded.  He has three children and four grandchildren.

Reprinted with permission from Turner Publishing

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