Sample, William Dodge, RADM

 Service Photo   Service Details
9 kb
View Time Line
Last Rank
Rear Admiral Upper Half
Last Primary NEC
131X-Unrestricted Line Officer - Pilot
Last Rating/NEC Group
Line Officer
Primary Unit
1945-1945, USS Suwanee (CVE-27)
Service Years
1918 - 1945
Rear Admiral Upper Half
Rear Admiral Upper Half

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

21 kb

Home State
New York
New York
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Robert Cox, YNCS to remember Sample, William Dodge, RADM.

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.
Contact Info
Home Town
Buffalo, NY
Last Address
Not Specified

Date of Passing
Oct 02, 1945
Location of Interment
Arlington National Cemetery - Arlington, Virginia
Wall/Plot Coordinates
15 78-SH

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Association Memberships
United States Navy Memorial In the Line of Duty
  2013, United States Navy Memorial [Verified] - Assoc. Page
  2019, In the Line of Duty

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

During the Leyte invasion, Rear Admiral Sample "desired a better view of operations" and decided to hitch a ride in a torpedo bomber. He lay in the "tunnel gun" position and observed through the window below the tail. The plane was hit by antiaircraft fire. Sample was severely cut on the head and shoulders. James C. Edinger, ARM3c, USNR, of Foxburg, Pennsylvania, came down from the "blister" where he was manning a .50 in (13 mm) machine gun, and applied first aid. Edinger said that it took them more than an hour to return to Marcus Island, during which he kept kicking Sample in the face with his foot to keep the Admiral from passing out. Sample was a big man: Edinger was afraid that if they ended up in the water, he wouldn't be able to get him out of the plane. Each time Sample would warn Edinger to make sure the .30 cal machine gun in the tail was empty. He was afraid that when they landed the gun would go off. Later, Sample explained to Edinger that he could see the headlines in the paper, "Admiral lands upon carrier: shoots hole in deck". According to the ship's surgeon, Commander Lee, "the excellence of Edinger's treatment helped prevent infection". Admiral Sample was awarded the Purple Heart, and at Sample's request, Edinger was promoted to Aviation Radio Man, Second Class.

2 October 1945, shortly after the war ended, Sample was listed as missing after his Martin PBM Mariner aircraft failed to return from a familiarization flight near Wakayama, Japan. Rear Admiral Sample was officially declared dead on 3 October 1946.

The remains of Sample, Capt. Charles C. McDonald of
Suwannee (CVE-27), and the seven members of the flight crew were discovered in the wreckage of the aircraft on 19 November 1948, recovered, and returned to the United States to be interred together at Arlington National Cemetery on 17 May 1949.
Other Comments:

Service number: 34596

 Tributes from Members  
From Neil Kilanski posted by Short, Diane (TWS Chief Admin, Ruth, Harding), SA 4632  
 Photo Album   (More...

  Short biography of Rear Admiral William Dodge Sample, U.S. Navy
Not Specified

Last Updated:
Aug 7, 2007

William Dodge Sample was born in Buffalo, New York, on March 9, 1898.

He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland in June 1918.

During World War 1 he served aboard USS HENDERSON (AP-1). For meritorious service during a fire on board that ship he received a letter of commendation from the Secretary of the Navy. Detached in August 1918, he served on several destroyers based at Queenstown, Ireland. He remained in the European Waters Detachment after the end of World War 1.

In December 1921 Sample was transferred to the gunboat PAMPANGA (PG-39), on the Asiatic Station.

He attended flight training at Naval Air Station Pensacola and was designated a Naval Aviator on June 23, 1923. Shortly thereafter he served as Commanding Officer of Scouting Squadron VS-1.

In the 1920s he successively served in the Aviation Departments of USS RALEIGH (CL-7), USS RICHMOND (CL-9), USS ARIZONA (BB-39), and USS NEW YORK (BB-34).

Sample served on board the carriers SARATOGA (CV-3) and LEXINGTON (CV-2), commanding Fighter Squadron VF-5 on the latter from 1932 to 1934.

Promoted to Lieutenant Commander, Sample saw duty at the Bureau of Aeronautics from 1935 to 1937 followed by duty as Navigator in the aircraft carrier RANGER (CV-4) in 1938.

In 1939 Sample was assigned as Air Operations Officer in USS YORKTOWN (CV-5). His last duty before World War 2 was as Supervisor of Aviation Training at Naval Air Station, Pensacola, Florida.

After the outbreak of World War 2, he assisted in the conversion of SANTEE (CVE-29) and was promoted to Commander. Assuming command of that escort carrier on its commissioning, he was awarded a letter of commendation for service during Operation Torch; the invasion of North Africa.

Captain Sample assumed command of INTREPID (CV-11) on April 19, 1944. In May 1944 he was transferred to the command of HORNET (CV-12) and in the ensuing months participated in operations in the Marianas and in strikes against the Volcano Islands.

In late summer 1944 he was promoted to Rear Admiral. Sample's flag was in USS Marcus Island (CVE-77) as Commander Carrier Division 27 for the invasion of Palau. In October 1944 at Leyte Gulf his command was part of Task Unit 77.4.2 (Taffy II) at the Battle off Samar under Rear Admiral Felix B. Stump.

In early 1945 Commander Carrier Division 27 and Marcus Island (CVE-77) supported the invasion of Lingayen, Philippines. For the Okinawa invasion Sample moved his flag to Carrier Division 22 and USS Suwanee (CVE-27).

Shortly after the war ended Sample was tragically listed as missing on October 2, 1945 after his plane failed to return from a familiarization flight near Wakayama, Japan. Rear Admiral Sample was officially declared dead on October 3, 1946.

William Dodge Sample was the youngest rear admiral in the Pacific theater.

USS SAMPLE (FF-1048) was commissioned on March 23, 1968.

My Photos From This Event
No Available Photos

Copyright Inc 2003-2011