Navy Memorabilia

Young, Willian J.

Rank: Fireman 2nd Class
Serial Number: 3826394
Military Branch: USS Minneapolis, CA-36
Origin: California
Date of Death: 1942-11-30
Golden Gate National Cemetery
Featured: No

F2C William John Young was a naturalized citizen born in Keewatin, Canada born December 17, 1922, to his parents William John and Margaret Lena Young. At the time William enlisted, the family resided in Monterey Park, California. He enlisted in the regular Navy in Los Angeles on December 15, 1941. His mother became naturalized in 1934 which gave her offspring naturalized status. His father remained a Canadian citizen.

After his enlistment as an Able Seaman (A.S.) he was sent to the San Diego Naval Training Station for a very brief time. He reported aboard the USS Minneapolis on January 17, 1942. In early spring, his rate was changed to Seaman 2nd Class; then on May 19, 1942 he was increased in rate to Fireman 3c; then to F2c on November 1, 1942.

During the time Young was aboard, the Minneapolis crossed thr equator on February 7, 1942; participated in the Battle of Bougainville on February 20, 1942; Battle of Salemaua on March 10, 1942; Battle of the Coral Sea May 6-8, 1942; Battle of Midway June 4-6, 1942;  Reinforcement of Guadacanal August 7 to 30, 1942 and September 14 to 21, 1942; occupation of Funafu Ellice Islands October 1-4, 1942.  

As flagship of Task Force 67 (TF 67), she sortied on 29 November to intercept a Japanese force attempting to reinforce Guadalcanal. At 23:05 the next night, she spotted six Japanese ships, and the Battle of Tassafaronga was opened by her 8 in (200 mm) fire. She scored many hits on Takanami, which sank. However, a second group of Japanese destroyers, which had been giving distant cover to the transport group, entered the action, and Minneapolis took two torpedo hits, one on the port bow, the other in her number two fireroom, causing loss of power and severe damage; her bow collapsing back to the chain pipes, her port side sadly ruptured, and two firerooms open to the sea. Of the battle, American naval historian Samuel Eliot Morison wrote, "It is a painful truth that the Battle of Tassafaronga was a sharp defeat inflicted on an alert and superior cruiser force by a partially surprised and inferior destroyer force." A total of 36 crewmen were killed as they were trapped in the engineering spaces. See this detailed report of this action:

This is a very extensive group that includes memorabilia  that the sailor saved from his short tenure in service. It includes his photo scrapbook from the USS Minneapolis, his Shellback Diploma from February 6, 1942, letters he wrote to his family throughout the war, his "diary" notes of the battle actions of his ship, letters to his family from the Navy, and news clippings.

Additionally, the group includes his Type 1 posthumous Purple Heart with its purple presentation box, Purple Heart Accolade, American Campaign medal, Pacific Campaign medal, WW2 Victory medal, an unusual shipboard made dog tag, and his Roosevelt KIA Accolade, plus his standing studio portraits taken in California. His burial flag is also part of the group.

Paperwork includes his National Archive files and information from

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