Cates, William Finnie (Red), S2c

 Service Photo   Service Details
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Last Rank
Seaman Second Class
Last Primary NEC
S2c-0000-Seaman 2nd Class
Last Rating/NEC Group
Seaman Second Class
Primary Unit
1942-1942, S2c-0000, USS San Francisco (CA-38)
Service Years
1941 - 1942
Seaman Second Class

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

30 kb

Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Tommy Burgdorf (Birddog), FC2 to remember Cates, William Finnie (Red), S2c.

If you knew or served with this Sailor and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
Casualty Info
Home Town
Drummonds, TN
Last Address
1057 Cummings St
Memphis, TN
(Aunt~Pearl Dyer)

Casualty Date
Nov 13, 1942
Hostile, Died
Other Explosive Device
Pacific Ocean
World War II
Location of Interment
Buried at Sea - N/A, Pacific Ocean
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Association Memberships
World War II FallenUnited States Navy Memorial The National Gold Star Family RegistryWW II Memorial National Registry
  2014, World War II Fallen
  2014, United States Navy Memorial - Assoc. Page
  2014, The National Gold Star Family Registry
  2014, WW II Memorial National Registry

 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar

 Enlisted/Officer Basic Training
  1942, Recruit Training (San Diego, CA), 015
 Duty Stations/ Advancement Schools
US Navy
  1942-1942, S2c-0000, USS San Francisco (CA-38)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1942-1942 Guadalcanal Campaign (1942-42)/Guadalcanal-Tulagi landings
  1942-1942 Guadalcanal Campaign (1942-42)/Cape Esperance (Second Savo)
 Other News, Events and Photographs
  Listed Walls of the Missing at Manila American Cemetery, Taguig City, PI
  Memorial Headstone at Poplar Grove Cemetery ~Tipton County, TN1
  Jan 21, 1942, Service entry date and Serial Number
  Apr 04, 1942, Received on The USS San Francisco (CA-38) as Apprentice Seaman (AS)
  May 21, 1942, Promoted to Seaman 2nd Class (S2c) V-6 USNR
  Nov 12, 1942, Killed in Action. Buried at Sea (US NAVY MUSTER Reports) 1
  Nov 13, 2014, General Photos1
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
Not Specified

Name of Award
Navy Cross
Year Awarded
Details behind Award:
Awarded for actions during the World War II

The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Seaman Second Class William Finnie Cates (NSN: 6401733), United States Naval Reserve, for extraordinary heroism in the line of his profession as Gunner, while serving on board the Heavy Cruiser U.S.S. SAN FRANCISCO (CA-38), during an engagement with Japanese naval forces near Savo Island in the Solomons on the night of on November 12 and 13 1942. With a complete disregard for his own personal safety, Seaman Second Class Cates courageously refused to abandon his gun station and fearlessly remained at his gun. In the face of certain death from an onrushing enemy torpedo plane that had been set on fire, he maintained his accurate gunfire until the plane crashed on his station. He was killed in action. His unflinching bravery and gallant conduct were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
General Orders: Commander South Pacific Area and Force: Serial 066 (November 24, 1942)
Action Date: November 12 - 13, 1942
Service: Navy
Rank: Seaman Second Class
Ship: U.S.S. San Francisco (CA-38)
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