PRIVATE WILLIAM J. GRADWELL JR. was born in Camden NJ on December 19, 1919 to William C. and Veronica Gradwell of 324 North 10th Street. His father was a railroad switchman. The family soon purchased a home at 2781 North Constitution Road in the Yorkship Square neighborhood of Camden NJ. He attended Yorkship School and Woodrow Wilson High School in Camden. A fine athlete, he won a trophy for basketball while at Yorkship School.
After high school, William Gradwell worked at the New York Shipbuilding Corporation yards in Camden. He also played baseball for the St. Joan of Arc team in the Kobus Twilight League. A teammate was Francis X. McGraw, who would be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his heroism during the Battle of the Hurtgen Forest. While playing for this team in 1939 William Gradwell faced his former high school teammate, Jerome L. "Babe" Carpenter, who also had attended Woodrow Wilson High School.
William Gradwell enlisted in the United States Army on January 2, 1942. A member of the Signal Corps, he was killed in a train wreck while serving on the island of Puerto Rico on July 13, 1943. He was survived by his parents, a brother Ray, and a sister, Lois. His death was reported in the July 27, 1943 edition of the Camden Courier-Post.
William Gradwell was brought home after the war, and was buried at Beverly National Cemetery on May 6, 1948.
Camden Courier-Post * June 1, 1939
Soup Wins Slugfest from 12th Ward, 12 to 8
Outslugging Twelfth Ward, Campbell’s Soup went into a tie for first place in the American Division of the Kobus Twilight League when it defeated the "Warders" 12 to 8 at Dudley Grange Park in one of four games played last night.
another American Division tussle, St. Joe's Polish soundly trounced the
Polish American Citizens Club, 13 to 1 at Broadway
and Everett street.
a pair of National Division tussles, the Walker Robins gained a firmer
grip on second place when it whipped Sacred Heart at the Fairview Ball
Park, 13 to 1 and Lincoln took the measure of St. Joan of Arc at Seventh
and Jefferson by the score of 5 to 1.
in the Campbell's-Twelfth Ward fracas took a beating with the "Soupmen"
collecting 13 blows off Mike Huggard and Martin, while the
"Warders" slapped Norm Young for 11 safeties.
lost no time in putting the game away, tallying seven runs in the first
inning and then added one in the third and two in the fourth to clinch the
verdict. The "Warders" tried hard to overcome the lead and in
the sixth session put on a rally which netted five runs.
was the hitting star for Campbell’s, rapping a pair of singles and a
home run, while Herb Dunn sparkled at the plate for the Warders with three
Polish-Americans were no match for St. Joe's Polish, Jim Stubbs setting
down the former outfit without much trouble, giving up but six hits. St.
Joe's on the other hand rapped T. Martin and Huston for 19 wallops with
Stubbs and Gray pacing the offense, each getting four hits. Walt Nowak
also hit hard, getting three for four. Galecki was the only
Polish-American who could solve Stubb's offerings, smacking three singles.
The Walker Robins also had little difficulty with Sacred Heart, scoring in each of the six innings with the exception of the fourth. Carpenter worked on the hill for the Robins and set down his foe with only two hits, while his mates clubbed Phillips, Rudolph and Savich for 11 bingles. Warren, Jones and Carpenter led the attack with two hits apiece. Sacred Heart's lone run came on a homer by Cianfrani in the second inning.
runs in the first and three in the eighth spelled victory for
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