PFC William James Mackey

PFC William James Mackey

Fonda, Pocahontas County, Iowa, USA
Death 20 Apr 1944 (aged 21)
At Sea
Burial Fonda, Pocahontas County, Iowa, USA
Memorial ID 173629807 · View Source
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Note: Cenotaph, stone noted he was "Lost at Sea".

Name: William J Mackey
Inducted From: Iowa
Rank: Private First Class
Combat Organization: 831st Bomber Squadron 485th Bomber
Death Date: 20 Apr 1944
Monument: North Africa
Last Known Status: Missing
U.S. Awards: Purple Heart Medal

William served as a Private First Class, 831st Bomber Squadron, 485th Bomber Group, Heavy, U.S. Army Air Forces during World War II.

He resided in Pocahontas County, Iowa prior to the war.

He enlisted in the Army on February 1, 1943 at Jefferson Barracks, Missouri. He was noted, at the time of his enlistment, as being employed as a Farm hand.

William was a passenger on the S.S. Paul Hamilton (Hull Number 227).

On her fifth voyage the S.S. Paul Hamilton left Hampton Roads, Virginia on April 2, 1944 as part of convoy UGS 38, carrying supplies and the ground personnel of the 485th Bombardment Group and the 5th Reconnaissance Group of the United States Army Air Forces to Italy.

On the evening of April 20th the Hamilton and other ships in the convoy were attacked 30 miles (48 km) in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Cape Bengut near Algiers by 23 German Ju 88 bombers.

One aerial torpedo struck the Paul Hamilton and detonated the cargo of high explosives and bombs, and the ship and crew disappeared within 30 seconds. A total of approximately 580 men where lost.

William was declared "Missing In Action" in this sinking during the war.

He was awarded the Purple Heart.

Service # 17151439

( Bio by: Russ Pickett )

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The U.S.S. Lansdale (DD-426) and the S.S. Royal Star were also sunk in this attack.
The Lansdale had a loss of Forty-seven officers and men.
The Royal Star lost only one member of their crew.

The Lansdale received four battle stars for World War II service.

Contributor: Holly Kirsch - Newhouse (48062526)


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  • Created by: Barb Destromp
  • Added: 7 Dec 2016
  • Find a Grave Memorial 173629807
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for PFC William James Mackey (2 Aug 1922–20 Apr 1944), Find a Grave Memorial no. 173629807, citing Mount Zion Cemetery, Fonda, Pocahontas County, Iowa, USA ; Maintained by Barb Destromp (contributor 46785064) .