This Military Service Page was created/owned by
Nicole Summers, MMFN
Abercrombie, William Warner, ENS.
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.
Home Town Medford, OR
Last Address Marriam, KS
Casualty Date Jun 04, 1942
Cause Hostile-Body Not Recovered
Reason Air Loss, Crash - Sea
Location Pacific Ocean
Conflict World War II
Location of Interment Forest Hills Cemetery - Kansas City, Missouri
Wall/Plot Coordinates (memorial marker)
Last Known Activity
Early in the morning of 4 Jun 1942 Hornet launched her air group of 59 planes to attack the Japanese carriers. VT-8, separated from the rest of the Air Group, found the enemy carriers and commenced their attack. And attack they did! Headlong into the maelstrom without fighter protection the 15 planes of VT-8 pressed their attack through an onslaught of enemy fighter and anti-aircraft fire. One by one the torpedo planes were sent hurtling into the sea. All 15 aircraft were shot down with the loss of 29 of the 30 aircrew. ENS Abercrombie and his radioman/gunner, ARM2 Bernard P. Phelps did not return. Their remains were unrecoverable.
Service number: 098514
Awarded for actions during World War II
Battalion: Torpedo Squadron 8 (VT-8)
Division: U.S.S. Hornet (CV-8)
Citation: The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Ensign William Warner Abercrombie (NSN: 0-98514), United States Naval Reserve, for extraordinary heroism in operations against the enemy while serving as Pilot of a carrier-based Navy Torpedo Plane of Torpedo Squadron EIGHT (VT-8), attached to the U.S.S. HORNET (CV-8), during the "Air Battle of Midway," against enemy Japanese forces on 4 June 1942. Grimly aware of the hazardous consequences of flying without fighter protection, and with insufficient fuel to return to his carrier, Ensign Abercrombie, resolutely, and with no thought of his own life, delivered an effective torpedo attached against violent assaults of enemy Japanese aircraft and against an almost solid barrage of anti-aircraft fire. His courageous action, carried out with a gallant spirit of self-sacrifice and a conscientious devotion to the fulfillment of his mission, was a determining factor in the defeat of the enemy forces and was in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.