Deuterman, William, 1stLt

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 Service Details
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Last Rank
First Lieutenant
Last Primary MOS
7598-Basic Fixed-Wing Pilot
Last MOSGroup
Pilots/Naval Flight Officers
Primary Unit
1942-Present, 7598, Missing In Action
Service Years
1940 - 1942

First Lieutenant


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 Personal Details 

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State of Birth
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Sgt Ryan Mahana (Alcatraz) to remember Marine 1stLt William Deuterman.

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World War II Fallen
  1942, World War II Fallen

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
Service Number: O-007127
Birth and Early Life:
William Deuterman was born to William and Edythe Deuterman of Los Angeles on November 16, 1917. He was raised in southern California and attended UCLA, graduating with the class of 1940.
Deuterman in the 1938 UCLA yearbook.
Deuterman in the 1938 UCLA yearbook.
Enlistment and Boot Camp:
Deuterman joined the Marine Corps on November 15, 1940. His educational background helped secure a spot in a Naval Reserve Aviation class, and PFC Deuterman was soon on his way to Kansas City, where he passed his elimination trials. From there, he proceeded to Jacksonville as a cadet.
Wartime Service:
Upon completing his training, Deuterman was assigned to VMF-121 in San Diego as the squadron's Transportation Officer. He transferred to VMF-111 in the early spring, and arrived at his first overseas post Tutulia, American Samoa in April, 1942. With Wake Island under Japanese control, and with news of the fall of Bataan beginning to circulate, the pilots understood that they were expendable in case of a Japanese invasion they were to resist until their airplanes were destroyed, then fight on as infantry. May brought the bleak tidings of Corregidor's surrender, then in June the victory at Midway brought a glimmer of hope, despite the serious losses to the island's air strength. In July, the squadron suffered its first personal loss as Second Lieutenant Jack Lyon, a former classmate of Deutermans, collided with another Wildcat during a mock dogfight and crashed into the sea. Shortly thereafter, Deuterman declared that he would never bail out of a disabled plane. The reasons for his decision are unknown, but his stance was common knowledge among his fellow pilots.
Date Of Loss:
Bill Deuterman was at the controls of F4F-3 #2515 on September 9, 1942. He was on a routine flight with his wingman, Lieutenant James W. Poindexter; as the flight progressed, Poindexter noticed that Deuterman was in serious trouble. Unable to make it back to base, and unwilling to bail out, Deuterman tried to set his aircraft down for a water landing. R. Bruce Porter recalled the scene that Poindexter described later that evening.
Poindexter, who was flying on Bill's wing all the way down, saw Bill stand up in the cockpit at about the last minute before the airplane impacted. Bill was clearly trying to bail out, but he was too low in any case for his chute to have deployed. Jeff watched in sheer horror as the F4F's propeller bit into the waves. This flipped the airplane over at great speed and threw Bill against the windscreen and instrument panel. Jeff was certain that Bill died on impact. If not, he was certainly unconscious when he sank forever beneath the waves.
Next Of Kin:
Wife, Mrs. Joann Crawford Deuterman
(married October 9, 1941)
Status Of Remains:
Lost at sea.
Tablets of the Missing, National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.

Other Comments:
Body Not Recovered

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 Ribbon Bar
Pilot Wings
Rifle Expert (Pre 1959)USMC Basic Qualification Badge

 Unit Assignments
MARTD NAS Jacksonville, FLVMSB-151VMF-121VMF-111
Missing In Action
  1941-1941, MARTD NAS Jacksonville, FL
  1941-1941, VMSB-151
  1942-1942, 7598, VMF-121
  1942-1942, 7598, VMF-111
  1942-Present, 7598, Missing In Action
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1941-1942 World War II
 Colleges Attended
University of Southern California
  1936-1940, University of Southern California
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