Territory Stories

LeRay Wilson

Details:

Title

LeRay Wilson

Name

LeRay Wilson

Also known as

Wilson, LeRay

Collection

WWII Roll of Honour; HistoryNT; Second World War, 1939-1945

Date

2021

Place of birth

Cove, Oregon (USA)

Date of birth

1920-02-04

Place of enlistment

Oregon (USA)

Date of enlistment

1939-02-08

Nation of service

United States of America

Service

United States Navy

Unit

USS William B Preston (DD-344)(AVP-20)(AVD-7)

Rank

Metalsmith 2nd Class

Service number

393-28-42

Next of kin

Thomas G. Wilson - Father; Julia Wilson - Mother

Date of death

1942-02-19

Place of death

USS William B Preston (DD-344)(AVP-20)(AVD-7)

Place of burial

Sea

Cultural heritage

American

Honours and awards

Silver Star; Purple Heart

Biographical notes

LeRay Wilson was born in Cove, Oregon, on 4 February 1920, the son of Thomas G. and Julia Wilson. When the Japanese first attacked on 19 February, Wilson went immediately below decks and had just completed closing all doors and hatches when a bomb hit within a few feet of him. As a result of his courage and efficiency, the flooding of the ship was confined to two compartments. Metalsmith 2nd Class Wilson was posthumously awarded the Silver Star for his bravery. USS LeRay Wilson was named in his honour.

History

Enlisted on 8 February 1939 and was assigned to the Preston on 14 June 1940. Wilson was on the Preston, a seaplane tender, in Malolog Bay in the Philippines when the Japanese attacked American ships there on the morning of 8 December 1941. USS William B. Preston was anchored in Darwin Harbour, tending PBY Catalinas, when the Japanese attack began on 19 February 1942. She quickly got underway, zigzagging through the crowded Harbour. Four bombs exploded off William B. Preston's bow, breaking bridge windows. She was then hit near the deckhouse, losing control of her steering and jamming the rudder. The aft living compartment was seriously damaged; the deck house was strafed and her machine guns were out of action. Fourteen men were killed, including two missing and three were wounded.

Notes

Metadata: Attribution International 4.0 (CC-BY 4.0) https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0; Photo of LeRay Wilson from NavSource Naval History (http://www.navsource.org/archives/06/414.htm) contributed by Bill Gonyo and Cal Downey, Public Domain.; Photo of LeRay Wilson from NavSource Naval History (http://www.navsource.org/archives/06/414.htm) contributed by Bill Gonyo and Cal Downey, Public Domain.; Photo of LeRay Wilson from NavSource Naval History (http://www.navsource.org/archives/06/414.htm) contributed by Bill Gonyo and Cal Downey, Public Domain.; Photo of LeRay Wilson from NavSource Naval History (http://www.navsource.org/archives/06/414.htm) contributed by Bill Gonyo and Cal Downey, Public Domain.; Photo of LeRay Wilson from NavSource Naval History (http://www.navsource.org/archives/06/414.htm) contributed by Bill Gonyo and Cal Downey, Public Domain.; Photo of LeRay Wilson from NavSource Naval History (http://www.navsource.org/archives/06/414.htm) contributed by Bill Gonyo and Cal Downey, Public Domain.

Language

English

Subject

Second World War, 1939-1945; Bombing of Darwin; Roll of Honour; Northern Territory history; USS Preston

File type

image/jpeg

Use

No known copyright

Copyright owner

NavSource Naval History

License

https://creativecommons.org/share-your-work/pubic-domain/pdm

Related links

https://www.abmc.gov/decedent-search/wilson%3Dleray [American Battle Monuments Commission]; https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/78629829/leray-wilson [Find a Grave]; https://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/SearchNRetrieve/Interface/ViewImage.aspx?B=334209&S=9&R=0 [Darwin Raids - Casualty Lists and Enquiries]; http://www.navsource.org/archives/06/414.htm [USS LeRay WIlson (DE414)]; https://www.abmc.gov/decedent-search/wilson%3Dleray [American Battle Monuments Commission]; https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/78629829/leray-wilson [Find a Grave]; https://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/SearchNRetrieve/Interface/ViewImage.aspx?B=334209&S=9&R=0 [Darwin Raids - Casualty Lists and Enquiries]; http://www.navsource.org/archives/06/414.htm [USS LeRay WIlson (DE414)]; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/842883 [WWII Military Units : USS William B Preston]

Parent handle

https://hdl.handle.net/10070/840027

Citation address

https://hdl.handle.net/10070/840027

Related items

https://hdl.handle.net/10070/840233


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