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William L. Shorts
War: World War II
Branch: United States Navy
Unit: Air Department U.S.S. Rudyerd Bay
Highest Rank: Seaman 1st Class
Birth Year: May 27, 1925
Place of Birth: Sharon, Pennsylvania
Theater: South Pacific


Just after his 17th birthday, while still a junior in high school, Bill enlisted in the United States Navy. He was sent to the Great Lakes Naval Station in Chicago, Illinois for his basic training. After six weeks there he was sent to California.

Bill was assigned to the U.S.S. Rudyerd Bay an aircraft carrier. While on board as a Seaman 1/C he served as a gunnerís mate, in the air department on gasoline detail, and on the crash squad. The Rudyerd Bay was involved in the battles of Iwo Jima and Okinawa while Bill was on board. Much of his recreational time was spent playing his saxophone in the shipís band.

When the ship returned to the states, Bill was transferred off due to illness and sent to the Philadelphia Naval Hospital. It was while in the hospital that he received his medical discharge from the Navy.

He returned to his home town of Sharon, Pennsylvania where he went on to get his GED and study mortuary science at the college level. He was a funeral director his entire life, until the day he retired.

This interview was conducted in San Diego, California during a reunion of the U.S.S Rudyerd Bay.