Technically, I didn’t read this article in the news since it happened about nine years before I was born, but it was in the Daily Olympian newspaper in 1941. As the caretaker of the family documents and pictures, this article was one of a few about our family that made the news.
Dad never “won” anything in his life before or after the draft. Lucky him, huh? [As it turns out, the date of July 19th is important in our Yates/Wilkerson family. My cousin Linda Yates was born on that day in 1950, and our granddaughter Katrina was born on that day in 2001. ]
William Gale Yates 1920-1996
In 1941 his draft registration number (169) was chosen as #1 in Thurston county, WA, and rather than be drafted, he joined the Navy. He went to basic training in San Diego and then was sent to Kaneohe Bay on Oahu after the Pearl Harbor attack. The unit was then divided by alphabet, and the first half was sent to serve on the Saratoga, and the second half was sent to New Caledonia in the Loyalty Islands. During his time in the Navy, Gale was certified as a Seaman Second Class on the 23rd of Feb. 1942 and completed a course of study at Aviation Machinist’s Mates’ School at US Naval Air Station, Seattle, WA.
One of the ships he was transported on was the USS Dixie. During this time in the war, probably when he was in New Caledonia, View Larger Map Gale had occasion to strap “Ol’ Bull Halsey into his parachute”. Dad always thought that was pretty cool. The plane in the article above I believe is an F4F Grumman Wildcat.
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