William Vane Campbell was killed 7 Dec 1941 on board the USS Oklahoma BB-37 during the surprise attack by the Japanese Navy. He is memorialized at Honolulu.

Son of Mr. John Bell Campbell and Mattie Simerly Range of Rt 4, Elizabethton, TN

Update:  Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA)

May 11, 2018 — Navy Seaman 2nd Class William V. Campbell, killed during the attack on the USS Oklahoma in World War II, was accounted for on May 9, 2018.

On Dec. 7, 1941, Campbell was assigned to the USS Oklahoma, which was moored at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, when the ship was attacked by Japanese aircraft. The USS Oklahoma sustained multiple torpedo hits, which caused it to quickly capsize. The attack on the ship resulted in the deaths of 429 crewmen, including Campbell.

In 2015, DPAA disinterred remains from the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu.

DPAA is grateful to the Department of Veterans Affairs for their partnership in this mission.

Interment services are pending; more details will be released 7-10 days prior to scheduled funeral services.

Campbell’s name is recorded on the Courts of the Missing at the Punchbowl, along with the others who are missing from World War II. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.

The Johnson Press, 26 October 1948:
Mrs. John B. Campbell of Gap Creek, whose son, Willliam Vane Campbell, was killed December 7, 1941, while on board the battleship Oklahoma, will have her request fulfilled tomorrow at Pearl Harbor when a Navy plane drops a flower for her hero. Mrs. Campbell wrote a letter to the Navy public relations office at Pearl Harbor asking that a crushed field daisy be dropped into the water where the Oklahoma was sunk by Japanese. Attached to the daisy will be a note saying:
“In loving memory of our son, William Vane Campbell, killed December 7, U.S.S. Oklahoma.”
Lt. Comdr. J.H. Shipping, chaplain at Pearl Harbor Naval Base, will drop the flower. Campbell, before entering the Navy in July, 1940, was a student at Happy Valley High School and a sophomore at the time of his enlistment at the Johnson City recruiting station. He was 20 at the time of his death. He is survived by three brothers, a sister and his parents.

  • Rank: Seaman Second Class
  • Date of birth:
  • 16 June 1921
  • Date of death: 7 December 1941
  • County: Carter
  • Hometown: Elizabethton
  • Service Branch: Navy
  • Division/Assignment: USS Oklahoma (BB-37)
  • Theater: Pacific
  • Conflict: World War II
  • Battles: Pearl Harbor
  • Awards: Purple Heart
  • Burial/Memorial Location: Honolulu Memorial, Honolulu, Hawaii
  • Location In Memorial: Pillar VIII, Top Panel
  • Contact us to sponsor William V. Campbell

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