October 8, 1922 (New London, CT) – December 7, 1941; 19 years old
Mother listed at Fairview Avenue, Groton
Enlisted on October 15, 1940
Service number 2072956
USS ARIZONA (BB-39)
Received the Purple Heart Medal. In the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor.
Last name is spelled Seely. The USS Arizona memorial is and the Honolulu Memorial have incorrect spelling of “Seeley”.
William attended Pleasant Valley School and Robert E. Fitch High School. Those who knew him remembered that he worked after school in a hardware store on Thames Street and went to Sunday School at the Groton Heights Baptist Church. He enlisted in the Navy on his 18th birthday in 1940.
Built in 1954, the now-closed William Seely Elementary School in Groton was named in his honor. Each year on December 7th, Principal Dick Raymond made a special announcement explaining the significance of the day and the part William Seely played in defending his country. An apartment complex is in design / approval stages for the land the school is on.
William’s childhood home on Fairview Avenue in Groton had to be torn down to make room for the Gold Star Memorial Bridge over the Thames River between Groton and New London.
USS Arizona Memorial
Memorialized Courts of the Missing, Court 2, Honolulu Memorial, 2177 Puowaina Drive, Hawaii