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World War II Honor Roll

William W. Priest

Sergeant, U.S. Army Air Forces

32483398

491st Bomber Squadron
341st Bomber Group, Medium

Entered the Service from: New Jersey
Died: May 13, 1944
Missing in Action or Buried at Sea
Tablets of the Missing at Manila American Cemetery
Manila, Philippines
Awards: Air Medal, Purple Heart

SERGEANT WILLIAM W. PRIEST, of East Atlantic Avenue, Stratford NJ, was the son of Samuel and Maria B. Priest. When he was born in 1920 the family was living in Magnolia on Lincoln Avenue. His father was working in sales for a fruit business. When William Priest was born, shortly after the 1920 census was taken, his oldest brother and sister had already gone to work. By 1930 Samuel Priest had found work as a buyer, and the family had bought a home on Atlantic Avenue in Stratford NJ. Their next door neighbors were the Oliver family, son George J. Oliver would also be lost in service during the World War II years. 

William Priest was known to friends and family as Bill. He was a fine baseball player. In 1938 he played left field for the Gibbsboro-based Lucas Paintworks ball club in the Lower Camden County League. Two of his brothers, Edward and Thomas, also played ball in that league that year.

William Priest was a member of the class of 1939 of Collingswood (NJ) High School, however, he did not graduate from that school. The turret gunner of a B-25 medium bomber, he entered service in January 1943 October 23, 1942, and was stationed at Camp Campbell KY in March of 1943. He spent a total of 9 months in the infantry before transferring to the Army Air Force. 

William W. Priest was killed when his plane went down over China on May 13, 1944. Besides his parents, he left a sister, Ada, and four older brothers, Jackson, Charles, Edward, and Thomas.


Camden Courier-Post - June 1, 1938

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Camden Courier-Post - June 7, 1938

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