Second Lieutenant Willis Sherman Lees, III

To know this young, handsome hero went missing when Mr. Johnson was also fighting for life as a Marine aboard the Big E at the same time and locale brings added poignancy to this story… I can but hope that someday he will be found…

Missing Marines

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NAME:
Willis Sherman Lees, III
NICKNAME:
Bill
SERVICE NUMBER:
O-009428
HOME OF RECORD:
Passaic, NJ
NEXT OF KIN:
Father, Mr. Willis Lees II
DATE OF BIRTH:
~1920
ENLISTED:
May 13, 1941
DATE OF DEATH:
October 2, 1942
CAMPAIGN UNIT MOS RATE FATE
Guadalcanal VMF-223 Pilot 2Lt. MIA
CAUSE OF DEATH:
F4F-4 02098 shot down over Guadalcanal by Lt (jg) Kawamata Katsutoshi
INDIVIDUAL DECORATIONS:
Distinguished Flying Cross, Purple Heart
LAST KNOWN RANK:
Captain
STATUS OF REMAINS:
Unknown
MEMORIAL:
Manila American Cemetery and Memorial, Philippines.


Birth and Early Life:
Willis Lees was born in Massachusetts around the year 1920. He grew up in Passaic, New Jersey, and attended Heidelberg College, graduating with the class of 1941; shortly after, Lees left his civilian job as a clerk for the adventurous life of a Naval aviator.

Enlistment and Boot Camp:
Bill Lees joined the Navy on May 13, 1941; he spent three months as…

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