William Ray Neely was the son of Samuel Monroe “Roe” Neely and Maggie Watkins.
Siblings: Wilda Mae Neely (twin), Lee Light (stepbrother), Mattie Light (Stepsister), Roy Light (Stepbrother), Helen Neely (half sister)
He enlisted April 16, 1943, in Fort Oglethorpe, GA. He was wounded in action in the Mediterranean area and later reported killed in action in Rome, Italy.
Burial: Grassy Valley Cemetery, Knox County, Tennessee
- Rank: Private
- Date of birth: 13 May 1919
- Date of death: 3 August 1944
- County: Knox
- Hometown: Knoxville
- Service Branch: Army/Army Air Forces
- Division/Assignment: Coast Artillery Corps
- Theater: Europe
- Conflict: World War II
- Awards: Purple Heart
- Burial/Memorial Location: Grassy Valley Cemetery, Knox County, TN
- Location In Memorial: Pillar XIV, Middle Panel
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