SEAMAN SECOND CLASS WILLIAM FREDERICH CALDARA; U.S. NAVY

February 27, 1920 (New York City) – November 13, 1942; 22 years old; unmarried
Last local address: North Taylor Avenue, Norwalk
Enlisted on January 15, 1942; 5 weeks after Pearl Harbor
Fireman Second Class
Service number: 6420921
USS JUNEAU (CL-52)
MIA (at sea)

Awarded the Purple Heart Medal

Norwalk High School Class of ‘38

Killed in the sinking of the USS Juneau during the Naval battle of Guadalcanal. The Juneau, in the early morning hours in near pitch darkness, was first struck on the port side by a torpedo causing a severe list. The Juneau, once dawn broke, then tried to return to Espiritu Santo for repairs along with the battle damaged U.S.S. Helena and U.S.S. San Francisco, when the Juneau was again hit by a torpedo from Japanese I-26 causing her to sink. This is the same incident that killed the five Sullivan Brothers.

Wreckage from the USS Juneau (CL-52) was discovered on March 17, 2018, by the expedition crew of Research Vessel (R/V) Petrel. The Juneau was sunk by a Japanese torpedo during the Battle of Guadalcanal, ultimately killing 687 men including all five of the Sullivan brothers. The Atlanta-class light cruiser was found 4,200 meters (about 2.6 miles) below the surface, resting on the floor of the South Pacific off the coast of the Solomon Islands.

NOTE: Two people from Norwalk, Charles Byington and William Caldara, enlisted on the same day, January 15, 1942, ended up on the same ship (USS Juneau), and died on the same day when the ship was sunk on November 13, 1942. It is unknown whether they knew each other prior to enlisting. They grew up on New Canaan Avenue and North Taylor Avenue respectively. Only five months separated their birthdays (9/25/19 & 2/27/20). Their names are nearly next to each other on the final muster roll for the USS Juneau on September 30, 1942. They died six weeks later.

The USS Juneau In New York Harbor, 11 February 1942; U.S. National Archives

Published by jeffd1121

USAF retiree. Veteran advocate. Committed to telling the stories of those who died while in the service of the country during wartime.

One thought on “SEAMAN SECOND CLASS WILLIAM FREDERICH CALDARA; U.S. NAVY

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: