William R. Proffitt

NAME
William Ray Proffitt
NICKNAME
SERVICE NUMBER
311714
UNIT
VMSB-232
Radioman / Gunner
HOME OF RECORD
Greggton
Texas
NEXT OF KIN
Mother, Mrs. Essie Tutt
DATE OF BIRTH
April 11, 1923
ENTERED SERVICE
May 31, 1941
DATE OF LOSS
September 6, 1942
REGION
Solomon Islands
CAMPAIGN / AREA
Gizo Harbor
CASUALTY TYPE
Missing In Action
Declared Dead September 7, 1943
CIRCUMSTANCES OF LOSS

Corporal William R. Proffitt served as an aviation radioman and gunner with VMSB-232, a Marine squadron operating out of Guadalcanal as part of the Cactus Air Force.

On 6 September 1942, Proffitt participated in a strike on Japanese installations at Gizo Harbor. No aircraft were lost in the attack, but a heavy storm blew in on the return flight, causing the formation to scatter and downing two bombers. Proffitt’s aircraft – SBD-3 BuNo 03342, flown by 2Lt. Charles B. McAllister –  never emerged from the storm.

Neither Proffitt nor McAllister were seen again. Both men were declared dead on 7 September 1943.

INDIVIDUAL DECORATIONS
Air Medal, Purple Heart
LAST KNOWN RANK
Corporal
STATUS OF REMAINS
Not recovered
MEMORIALS
Manila American Cemetery

Biography:
Coming soon. Contact the webmaster for more information about this Marine.


Articles & Records:

One Reply to “William R. Proffitt”

  1. Born ten years after the war, my memories of my uncle, were based on his photo over my Grandmother’s mantle and her stories. She still had his medals and the letter from the CO of VMSB 232.

    She told us grandkids the story of how my uncles, William Ray and Jay Vee, had talked her into falsifying their ages to get jobs with the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). They would both uses these documents later to enlist underage. Jay Vee survived the war having went into the Army where he ended up as a tanker with Patton.
    Many years later I would make contact with the survivors of the campaign thru there reunion address. One of the memories they told me was of packing up his belongings to mail home. He was remembered as being short in height and a boxer.

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