Chief Aviation Ordnanceman William C. Meadville was born 21 January 1918 in Bellwood, Pennsylvania. He enlisted in the United States Naval Reserve on 5 September 1942 in Birmingham, AL. He then attended Navy Mine Disposal School at American University Campus, Washington, D.C. Upon graduation from Mine Disposal School Class #12 on 28 November 1942, ACOM Meadville was assigned to Mobile Explosives Investigation Unit ONE, Navy 134, Freemantle, Australia.
Commander Service Force, SEVENTH Fleet, assigned ACOM Meadville temporary additional duty to the U.S. Army as an Intelligence Observer in preparation for landing on Leyte Island, Philippines. Beginning on 23 October 1944, the Battle of Leyte Gulf was the largest naval battle of World War II. A battle between American and Australian forces and the Imperial Japanese Navy, U.S. troops invaded the island of Leyte as part of a strategy aimed at isolating Japan from critical natural resources, originating from Southwest Asia, that sustained its war-making capabilities. ACOM Meadville’s orders were to report to G-2, SIXTH Army, Hollandia, Dutch New Guinea with final assignment to G-2, U.S. X Corps at Finschhafen, Territory of New Guinea.
ACOM Meadville boarded a U.S. troop carrier plane at Cyclops Airdrome, near Hollandia, on a flight bound for Finschhafen Airfield, Papua New Guinea. The aircraft departed at 0547, went missing and was never located. ACOM Meadville was declared killed-in-action on the day of the mission – 1 October 1944 – and was memorialized on the Tablets of the Missing at Manila American Cemetery. Survived by his wife and newly born daughter, Mary Anne.
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