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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