William Frank Waters Jr.        
      William Frank Waters Jr.
Lieutenant (jg)

William Frank Waters was born on June 17, 1924 in Cedartown, Georgia and graduated from Cedartown High School.

Frank entered Naval Service in June, 1942, as an aviation cadet under the V-5 program.  He received pre-flight training at Athens, Georgia, and flight training at Olathe, Kansas and Corpus Christi, Texas.  He left for overseas duty in January, 1944.

Frank was killed in action on June 15, 1945 when he was shot down over Ishigaki Jima.  This was the second time he was shot down and had spent a night on a life raft after that incident.

  Pictured (L-R) Thomas Jerome Connelly, William Frank Waters Jr. and Vernon L. Tebo.  These VC-97 squadron pilots were all lost in action and the photos show above were included in the VC-97 Farewell Book  
  Memory by Millard Greer

Here is a little personal information as how I remember Frank Waters.

Across from our house in the 1940s was a large field where all the kids would play football, fly kites, etc. I remember my brother Barney and Frank would often practice kicking a football barefooted!  They both loved tennis and at times I would help them clean up around the tennis court, which at that time was clay.

My mother had Frank over to our house for a big meal one day.  I do not recall the exact date or time but I do remember Frank was seated across from me wearing the white uniform of a Navy officer. On his chest was the beautiful golden wings of a pilot!  It was hard for me to eat for just looking at him.  Some time after this meal I was standing in our front yard as Frank left our house and started up the hill.  As he walked passed me he ran his hand through my hair!  I watched him walk up the street until he went out of site never to return.

That memory has remained in my mind until this day and seems like it was just yesterday.


Millard Greer
Cedartown, Georgia


Pictured (L-R) Barney Nation, Millard Greer and Patricia Nation.  Huntsville, Alabama April 1, 2012

  Lt. Frank Waters wrote a letter to his best friend Barney Nation the day before Air Squadron VC-97 was commissioned.  He describes his thoughts and feelings about being assigned to fly the new FM2 Wildcat as a fighter pilot.  Click on the following link to read  Lt William Frank Waters' letter dated 1944-03-07


June 15, 1945

At 1300H, 5 TBM Avengers and 8 FM-2 Wildcats were launched for targets at ISHIGAKI and MIYARA airfields. AA positions in the town of OHAMA and AA positions seen earlier in a ravine about 1,200 yards north of the northern end of the NE-SW runway of ISHIGAKI Airfield, Lieutenant (jg) William F. Waters flying a FM-2 fighter was hit by AA fire coming from the ravine or the town of OHAMA.  His plane burst into flames and was seen to crash into buildings and trees, approximately 2,500 yards north of the E-W runway.  He was not seen leaving the airplane before the plane made ground impact.

Account provided by: Fredio Samples, Wings Over Sakishima, Page-94

  JB Cody Journal      
  JB Cody Journal - The journal page shown above documents the events of June 15, 1945 including the loss of fighter pilot Lt. Waters.  Click [here] to view JB Cody's complete journal.  
  A gravestone marker for William Frank Waters Jr. is in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific located on the island of Oahu in Honolulu, Hawaii.  His interment date is noted as March 10, 1949.  The photograph shown above was provided by Manuel Merino.  
  2023-06-09  The National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.  The photo shown above and the photos provided in the following link were provided by Shari Nearing.  [More Photos]    [Cemetery Website]  
  William Frank Waters Jr. Flag    
  William Frank Waters' flag shown in the original shipping box from the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.  
  William Frank Waters' flag was shipped home to his mother in Cedartown, Georgia on May 15, 1949.   
  National Museum of the Pacific War - Fredericksburg, Texas    
  2011-06-18  A memorial dedication was held on June 18, 2011 at the National Museum of the Pacific War in Fredericksburg, Texas. Air Squadron VC-97 crew members Robert Tuggle Jr., Vernon L Tebo, and Warren H Loyd were honored along with USS Shipley Bay (CVE-85) Catapult Crewman Philip W Nearing. The dedication included full military honors presented by the United States Navy and United States Marines. The photo above was taken at sunrise showing the entrance to the Memorial Courtyard where the dedication was held.

[ Memorial Dedication Ceremony ]

  A memorial plaque for William Frank Waters Jr. was set in the limestone wall of the Memorial Courtyard.   
    A brick pavestone was set in the "Walk of Honor" in memory of William Frank Waters Jr.   Memorial plaques and brick pavers have also been dedicated for the Air Squadron VC-97 crewmates listed below.

Lt.Vernon L. Tebo
Robert Tuggle Jr., AOM 1/c
Warren Loyd ARM 1/c.

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