Pinckney, William, Ck1c

 Service Photo   Service Details
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Last Rank
Petty Officer First Class
Last Rating/NEC Group
Primary Unit
1944-1946, CH-0000, Naval Base San Diego (NAVBASE San Diego)
Service Years
1938 - 1946
Two Hash Marks

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

17 kb

Home State
South Carolina
South Carolina
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Jeff Owejan (weeje), CMC to remember Pinckney, William, Ck1c.

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Contact Info
Home Town
Beaufort, SC
Last Address
Dale, SC

Date of Passing
Jul 21, 1976
Location of Interment
Beaufort National Cemetery - Beaufort, South Carolina
Wall/Plot Coordinates
33 81

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Association Memberships
American LegionUnited States Navy Memorial
  1946, American Legion - Assoc. Page
  2019, United States Navy Memorial - Assoc. Page

 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar

 Enlisted/Officer Basic Training
  1938, Recruit Training (Great Lakes, IL)
 Duty Stations
Advancement Schools and CoursesVB-6NAS San DiegoUSS Enterprise (CV-6)
US NavyNaval Base San Diego (NAVBASE San Diego)
  1938-1939, Officers Cooks & Stewards School
  1939-1942, MATT-0000, VB-6
  1939-1942, MATT-0000, NAS San Diego
  1942-1943, SC-0000, USS Enterprise (CV-6)
  1943-1944, CH-0000, Carrier Air Service Unit 1 (CASU-1)
  1944-1946, CH-0000, Naval Base San Diego (NAVBASE San Diego)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1942-1942 Guadalcanal Campaign (1942-42)/Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands
  1942-1942 Central Pacific Campaign (1941-43)/Battle of Midway
  1943-1943 Guadalcanal Campaign (1942-42)/Battle of Rennel Island
 Other News, Events and Photographs
  William Pinckney - civilian photos5
  Beaufort National Cemetery3
  William Pinckney - navy photos6
  Jul 21, 1976, Died at home
  May 29, 2004, DDG91 USS Pinckney (DDG-91) commissioned4
  Mar 31, 2019, General Photos
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

Bill, or ‘Bags’ to his friends, was a quiet man.  If you were asked to pick him out of a crowd as one of only four African Americans to receive the Navy Cross in World War Two, odds are you might pick him last.  Only proud to serve in the Navy, he never talked about medals or awards. Unassuming, he was just a man that always tried to do the right thing in his life, and succeeded.

William Pinckney was born in
Dale, South Carolina, on April 27, 1915, to Renty and Jenny Pinckney.  His father struggled to get by as a carpenter on the many shrimp boats in the Beaufort area.  Bill’s mother passed when he was eight years old and his older sister, Ethel, raised him.  A few years later Bill would drop out of school and start working himself, only finishing the seventh grade.  Following in his father’s footsteps, he worked as a carpenter along the waterfront, eventually partnering with his brother-in-law prior to joining the Navy.

In 1946, he moved from Oceanside to Brooklyn, New York, where Bill joined the Merchant Marine and Henrietta worked as a telephone operator.  William served for 26 years in Merchant Marine as a cook on such ships as the AFRICAN MOON and SIR JOHN FRANKLIN.  He was an active Mason and member of the American Legion in New York.  After retiring, he  moved back to Beaufort.

William Pinckney passed away in his home on
July 21, 1976, after a two-year struggle with spinal cancer.  He is buried at plot number 3381 in the Beaufort National Cemetery.
Other Comments:

Service number: 2622962

Navy Cross

Awarded for Actions During World War II
Service: Navy
Division: U.S.S. Enterprise (CV-6)
General Orders: Bureau of Naval Personnel Information Bulletin No. 317 (August 1943)
Citation: The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Ship's Cook Third Class William Pinckney, United States Navy, for extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty while serving on board the Aircraft Carrier U.S.S. ENTERPRISE (CV-6), in action against the enemy during the operations of the U.S. Naval Forces north of the Santa Cruz, Islands, on 26 October 1942. When a heavy bomb exploded in the near vicinity, Ship's Cook Third Class Pinckney, standing at his battle station in the ammunition handling room, was knocked unconscious. With several compartments completely wrecked and four of his five comrades killed, he, regaining consciousness, groped his way through the burning and tangled wreckage to a point under an open hangar deck hatch. Just as he was about to escape he found a shipmate, the only other survivor of his party, struggling up through the hatch. When the man fell unconscious, either from his wounds or from smoke fumes, Ship's Cook Third Class Pinckney, unmindful of his own danger, lifted his comrade through the hatch to safety before he himself battled his way out of the burning and smoke-filled compartment. By his dauntless courage in saving his comrade's life at great risk to his own, Ship's Cook Third Class Pinckney upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
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