navy logo small  6 17 2010 10 39 20 PM  QM3

bill portrait site                                  rankin 2010 
 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.

Bill talks about his schooling: sound icon

swearing in

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.

report for duty

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.

Bill talks about enlistment: sound icon

"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"

mr rankin