William Baynard Whaley, Jr., USN

Born  5 Feb 1899Charleston, South Carolina, USA
Died  1 Apr 1987(88)La Jolla, California, USA


1 Jul 1939 Lt.Cdr.
25 Jul 1942 T/Cdr.
10 Jul 1943 T/Capt.


Warship Commands listed for William Baynard Whaley, USN

USS Makin Island (CVE 93)T/Capt.Escort carrier9 May 194416 Jun 1945

Career information

William Baynard Whaley was born in Charleston, SC. to Dr. Thomas Prioleau Whaley (known as The Good Physician) and Heniretta R. Robertson Whaley, both also of Charleston. After completing his education, he was admitted to the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD, June 21st, 1918, in the First Class of Midship-men. He married Emily Campbell Semmes, April 14, 1925, in Escambia County, Florida. After starting their family in Pensacola, they later transferred and settled in Coronado, California at the North Island Naval Complex. There, they raised their family and William's naval career advanced.

The Confidential Notices detailing the organization of the Atlantic and Pacific Fleets as of October 1, 1941 included a listing of commanding officers along with their signal numbers, showed Lt. Commander W. B. Whaley, Jr.,#2257, as C.O. of VJ-2(Pacific Fleet). Most Navy Aviation Squadrons have designations taken from the planes that equipped them i.e., VF is a Fighter squadron, VSB a Scout Bomber squadron, etc. but some squadron designations are not so obvious. The letters VJ stand for a Utility Squadron. VJ-2 was a Utility Squadron flying PBY-1 Catalinas and Grumman J2F Ducks for anti-submarine and reconnaissance.

He received command of the Escort Carrier USS Makin Island (CVE 93) May 9, 1944. He is later listed as Rear Admiral, in the US Naval Order of the U.S., as USNO Companion #03292. His two sons also pursued US Navy careers and held commands, Capt William Semmes(Fish)Whaley,[USS Deluth LPD-6] and Ltcdr Thomas Prioleau Whaey,[USS Ozbourn,DD-846].

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