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William Henry Pennington, Jr.

West Virginia
Veterans Memorial


William Henry Pennington, Jr.

"William was . . . truly a man of whom our country will always be proud to call Her own and whose memory She will ever honor."

Capt. William Hager, commanding officer

William Henry Pennington Jr. was born on June 25, 1918, in Putnam County, West Virginia, the third of four children born to William H. and Tessie Casto Pennington.
William Henry Pennington, Jr.
William Henry Pennington, Jr.

William Henry Pennington Jr. with father and sisters
William Henry Pennington Jr. with father
and sisters Beatrice and Oeda
William, or "Bus" as family and friends called him, attended Valley Belle school in Putnam County.

As a young man, William moved to Dunbar, where he worked as a mechanic at Jake's Esso Station. Prior to being drafted, William also was employed by the Ford, Bacon and Davis Plant as a security guard and by Union Carbide at the Institute Plant working in the same capacity.
William Henry Pennington Jr.
William Henry Pennington Jr., 1930s

Bernice Ranson Pennington
Bernice Ranson Pennington
While residing in Dunbar, he met his future wife Bernice Ranson. They were married on November 23, 1938.

William was inducted into the United States Army on November 18, 1943, and transferred the same day to the Enlisted Reserve Corps. He entered active duty at Fort Thomas, Kentucky, on December 9, 1943, and left for overseas service in the Pacific on April 22, 1944.

William was assigned to the motor pool with Company E, 534th Engineer Boat and Shore Regiment. His duties included driving and maintaining jeeps, cargo trucks, dump trucks, and Amphibious DUKWS.
William Pennington in the Philippines
William Pennington (right) in the Philippines

Letter from Douglas MacArthur
Letter from Douglas MacArthur on death of William Pennington
Afflicted with a rare blood disease, Pfc. William Pennington was in and out of the military hospital. He died on June 6, 1945, and was buried on Leyte Island in the Philippines. He was survived by his wife Bernice and two-year-old son, Robert Lee. In 1948, his body was returned to the United States and was interred at Emma Chapel Cemetery in Putnam County.

Information and photographs provided by Robert L. Pennington


West Virginia Archives and History welcomes any additional information that can be provided about these veterans, including photographs, family names, letters and other relevant personal history.

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