Lt (JG) William Nathan “Bill” Arbuckle

Lt (JG) William Nathan “Bill” Arbuckle

Death 20 Aug 1944 (aged 26–27)
Burial Epinal, Departement des Vosges, Lorraine, France
Memorial ID 56370936 · View Source
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William, who was originally declared "Missing In Action" was not officially declared as being dead by the military until August 21, 1945, 1 year and 1 day after he went missing as was the custom. That date, in error, is shown on his headstone. It should show August 20, 1944 his actual date of passing.

Son of Jesse W. Arbuckle who resided in Midland, Arkansas.

Husband of Elodie Arbuckle.

William served as a Lieutenant Junior Grade & Pilot on the U.S.S. Kasaan Bay (CVE-69), U.S. Navy during World War II.

He resided in Oklahoma prior to the war.

Lt (jg) Arbuckle took off from the U.S.S. Kasaan Bay at 0602 in his Grumman F6F Hellcat 58333 in order to bomb enemy convoys in the Montpellier, France area.

Finding an ammunition convoy he, along with other pilots, strafed it, but one of the planes was damaged in the ensuing explosion.

Following another successful attack, the flight leader flew around the damaged plane and ordered it back to base. However, when he resumed his station Lt. Arbuckle was no longer by his side, having been hit by AA fire and crashed, unknown to his teammates.

The flight leader attempted to contact him and searched the area for 10 minutes before moving on. However, some say Lt. Arbuckle strafed a target so low his wing clipped a tree bordering the road, sending him crashing down.

The locals buried him, the mayor engraving on his headstone "Here lies William Nathan Arbuckle, an American airman killed in action in the sky of Me'ze, on August 20, 1944, for our liberation. We shall never forget him."

The body was later moved to Epinal cemetery, and his parents put up a memorial headstone in his hometown cemetery. He left behind his family and young wife Elodie.

William was "Killed In Action" in France during the war and was awarded the "Distinguished Flying Cross" and the Purple Heart.

Service # O-303786

He also has a "Cenotaph" in the Hobart Rose Cemetery, Hobart, Oklahoma.
" Click Here " for that record.

( Bio updated: Russell S. "Russ" Pickett )

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  • Maintained by: Russ Pickett
  • Originally Created by: War Graves
  • Added: 7 Aug 2010
  • Find a Grave Memorial 56370936
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Lt (JG) William Nathan “Bill” Arbuckle (1917–20 Aug 1944), Find a Grave Memorial no. 56370936, citing Epinal American Cemetery and Memorial, Epinal, Departement des Vosges, Lorraine, France ; Maintained by Russ Pickett (contributor 46575736) .