1LT William Joseph “Bill” Hatton

1LT William Joseph “Bill” Hatton

Birth
Hudson County, New Jersey, USA
Death 13 Apr 1943 (aged 25)
Libya
Burial Flushing, Queens County, New York, USA
Plot Section: 10, Row: 33, Grave: 54
Memorial ID 176636802 · View Source
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Bill was the second youngest son of eight children born into the Irish Catholic family of Rose Ann C. (nee McGillick) and Francis Hatton. William was a 1939 graduate of Fordham, a Jesuit university in New York City. Immediately after graduation, Bill enlisted in the U.S. Army and was in the Ninth Regiment. He was discharged on December 1, 1941. Six days later, Pearl Harbor was bombed on December 7, 1941 and war was declared the following day. Bill re-enlisted in the Army Air Corp on December 16, 1941. He entered as an Aviation Cadet. After completing training at Hendrick's Field in Florida, he was made a 1st Lt. While in flight school, Bill married his hometown sweetheart, Amelia Jarsky, on September 3, 1942 in Highland County, Florida. By April 1943, he was piloting the maiden mission with the 514 Bombing Squadron on the Lady Be Good. This was to be a bombing mission over Naples, Italy. Without smaller fighter plane protection, all communication was to be silenced until the mission had been completed, so as to avoid being detected by German night fighter planes. Once the Lady Be Good left base, she was never heard from again.
In May 1958, plane wreckage was spotted during an aerial survey by a British oil exploration team from the D'Arcy Oil Company (later to become part of British Petroleum) in the Lybian Desert. In March 1959 a D'Arcy ground geological team visited the aircraft and it was determined to be the Lady Be Good. All but one of her crew members were found by February 1960. A feature article in Life Magazine about the discovery of the WWII plane and crew appeared in the March 7, 1960 issue, retracing and speculating on the events leading to the demise of the Lady Be Good and her crew.
Because his remains were not found until 1960, he is also listed on Tablets of the Missing on North Africa American Cemetery and Memorial, but with a rosette next to his name indicating that his remains have been recovered.
Burial date into St. Marys Cemetery was March 25, 1960. Lt. Hatton's headstone is shared with his brother-in-law, Martin Rapelyea who was married to Elizabeth Hatton. No doubt the space next to Martin's name had been left for Elizabeth, however, she had remarried by the time her brother's remains were found so she would not have need of using it, plus the grave is located next to Lt. Hatton's parents.

"The dauntless courage and tenacity of these men in the face of danger, their suffering and unthinkable deprivation, will remain a high point of human achievement against the most severe adversities. The men of the Lady Be Good have given desert survival schools a new gauge with which to indoctrinate their students; a measuring stick that may save other lives."
- excerpt from Mystery Bomber of World War II The Lady Be Good by Dennis E. McClendon, Lt. Col. USAF, Ret..

Lady Be Good crew members:
1st Lieut. William J. Hatton, Pilot
Whitestone, New York;
2nd Lt. Robert Toner, Co-pilot
North Attelboro, Massachusetts;
2nd Lt. Dp Hays, Navigator
Kansas City, Missouri;
2nd Lt. John S. Woravka, Bombardier
Cleveland, Ohio;
T/Sgt. Harold S. Ripslinger, Flight Engineer
Saginaw, Michigan;
T/Sgt. Robert E. LaMotte, Radio Operator
Lake Linden, Michigan;
S/Sgt. Guy E. Shelley, Gunner/Asst Flight Engineer
New Cumberland, Pennsylvania;
Staff Sergeant Vernon L. Moore, Gunner/Asst Radio Operator
New Boston, Ohio;
S/Sgt. Samuel E. Adams, Gunner
Eureka, Illinois.

In-depth information about The Lady Be Good can be found at US Quartermaster Foundation.



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  • Maintained by: tbickellb
  • Originally Created by: Not Forgotten - Wis.
  • Added: 23 Feb 2017
  • Find A Grave Memorial 176636802
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for 1LT William Joseph “Bill” Hatton (31 May 1917–13 Apr 1943), Find A Grave Memorial no. 176636802, citing Mount Saint Mary Cemetery, Flushing, Queens County, New York, USA ; Maintained by tbickellb (contributor 47136488) .