|Bill in September 1944||Bill in June 2010|
William Walker (Bill) Rankin was born in Brooklyn, NY on June 17 1926. He grew up in New York City, attended parochial grammer school, and a private high school. After the war he used the GI bill to go to George Washington University, from which he graduated in 1955. Bill passed away on May 24, 2015.
To avoid being drafted into the Army, Bill enlisted into the Navy before his 18th birthday. He was still a high school senior, and the Navy gave him a 60 day deferment in order to graduate.
He received orders to report to Pennsylvania station at 9 PM on June 23, 1944, where he boarded a Lehigh Valley train to Sampson Naval Training Center (boot camp) on Lake Seneca in upper New York State (near Geneva), where he'll be know as Serial # 713-51-07.
"The Lehigh Valley RR was built mainly to ship coal to New York. Passenger comfort was not an objective.
The road bed was bumpy, the equipment was ancient and the interior smelly. It was impossible
to sleep in the rigid day coach seat"