William A. Winn

Date of Birth:  August 2, 1918


Place of Birth:  Haskell Co., Kansas


Father and Mother’s Names:  Malvin J. Winn, Sr. and Margaret May (Allison) Winn


Date Entered Service:  October 22, 1940 from Fort Riley, Kansas


Service Branch:  Army Air Corps


Rank/Specialty:  Sergeant


Service ID:  6856686


Division/Company/Unit info:  1122nd Engineer Combat Group, 35th Combat Regiment, 96th Infantry Division, 10th Army - Camp White, Oregon.  Served in Leyte and Ryukyus Campaigns, Okinawa, Japan during "Operation Iceberg" (April 1, 1945 - June 22, 1945).


Riley Connection:  NARA (National Archives) states that William's Home of Record was Riley County, KS.  Entered Military Service from Fort Riley, KS on October 22, 1940.


Date of Death (and Age):  May 30, 1945 (age 26) - DNB (Deceased Non-Battle).


Place of Death:   Okinawa, Japan


Grave Location:  Returned from Okinawa Islands Cemetery, Ryukyu Retto.  Re-interred on June 14, 1949 to National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, Honolulu, Honolulu County, Hawaii.  Memorial Marker in the Fowler Cemetery, Fowler, Meade Co., Kansas.


Bio:  William A. Winn was born on August 2, 1918 in Haskell Co., Kansas to Malvin J. Winn, Sr. and Margaret May (Allison) Winn.  When still a toddler the family moved back to Fowler, Kansas.  When William was 12 years old the family had moved again and were living in Conway Springs, Sumner Co., Kansas, where William attended four years of high school and worked as a sales clerk afterwards. On October 22, 1940, he enlisted into the Army Air Corps as a Private at Fort Riley, Kansas.  William was 5' 8" tall and weighed 140 lbs.  William moved up in rank and became a Sergeant attached to the 1122nd Engineer Combat Group.  William may have died due to "friendly fire."


On May 29, Major General Pedro del Valle, commander of the 1st Marine Division, ordered Captain Julian D. Dusenbury of Company A, 1st Battalion, 5th Marines, to capture Shuri Castle. Seizure of the castle represented both strategic and psychological blows for the Japanese and was a milestone in the campaign. Del Valle was awarded a Distinguished Service Medal for his leadership in the fight and the subsequent occupation and reorganization of Okinawa. Captain Dusenbury would later receive the Navy Cross for his actions.


Shuri Castle had been shelled by the battleship USS Mississippi for three days before this advance. Due to this, the 32nd Army withdrew to the south and thus the Marines had an easy task of securing Shuri Castle. The castle, however, was outside the 1st Marine Division's assigned zone and only frantic efforts by the commander and staff of the 77th Infantry Division prevented an American air strike and artillery bombardment which would have resulted in many casualties due to friendly fire.



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