William Walling

United States Navy
05 June 1946 - 26 October 1966
Blue Island, IL
Panel 11E Line 116


National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for William Walling

01 Nov 2002

Bill was a friend and classmate at Thornton High in Harvey, Illinois. We sure got into a lot of trouble together. Little did we know what this life had in store for us.

Bill, you left first. You went into the Navy and were stationed aboard the USS Oriskany. I later joined the Navy and was sent to the Seabees and a tour in Vietnam working beside the Marines.

I got the word you were killed in a fire aboard the Oriskany. A bomb went off while re-arming aircraft and went through three decks. You were killed instantly. You left a brother, sister and mother behind. I know you are missed by them and all who knew you.

I served in Vietnam in places like Dong Ha, An Hoa and Chu Lai and I always thought of you as I did my tour wondering if I was to follow you. It was not to happen. I came home to remember you. Rest in peace, Brother.

Bill, thanks for being my friend.

Gary Parker

19 Jan 2004

I served with Bill on the U.S.S. ORISKANY, we used to play cards together. We both were in B Division. It's fate what happens in life. The night before the fire we were playing cards together, we did not finish the game I was turning in I had watch at 0700 hrs. Bill said "Sleep in my compartment - come on, finish the game". I said "No, I need to sleep." I woke up to the sound of General Quarters for a raging fire. I found out later after fighting the fire Bill was killed along with Greg Hart. If I had slept in their compartment I would not have been here today. I went on to become a Police Chief in New Jersey. I contacted Bill's family after many years to let them know I still think of Bill on many many occasions. I believe I had a guardian angel watching over me during my entire police career. Thanks Bill I'll see you in later years,

From a shipmate,
Dennis Chance
58 Springhill Drive, Laurel Springs, N. J. 08021

A Note from The Virtual Wall

Fireman William Walling and 43 others died in the 26 Oct 1966 fire aboard

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Channing Prothro, former CAP Marine
Last updated 08/10/2009