John Leon Williamson
|John Leon Williamson|
November 5, 1921|
Ash, North Carolina
|Died||November 12, 1942(aged 21)|
|Allegiance||United States of America|
|Service/branch||United States Navy|
|Years of service||1940–1942|
|Rank||Seaman First Class|
|Unit||USS San Francisco (CA-38)|
|Battles/wars||World War II
*Naval Battle of Guadalcanal
Battle of Cape Esperance
|Awards||Navy Cross (posthumous)|
John Leon Williamson was born 5 November 1921 in Ash, North Carolina.
Williamson was on board the fighting cruiser during the attack on Pearl Harbor 7 December 1941 and the initial American amphibious assault of the war on Guadalcanal. He also took part in the American victory at the night Battle of Cape Esperance in October.
On 12 November 1942 one of the many Japanese attempts to bombard American positions in the Solomons and to reinforce their own garrisons there resulted another great battle, the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal. Before the main engagement, the USS San Francisco (CA-38) and other ships were attacked by torpedo bombers off Guadalcanal.
Williamson, an antiaircraft gunner fired at an approaching torpedo plane, remaining at his station with cool determination as the enemy aircraft crashed directly at his gun mount. For his great courage in the face of this attack, Seaman First Class Williamson was awarded the Navy Cross posthumously.
The USS John L. Williamson (DE-370) was named in his honor. She was laid down 22 May 1944 by Consolidated Steel Corp., Orange, Texas; launched 29 August 1944; sponsored by Mrs. Sherman Register, sister of Seaman First Class Williamson; and commissioned 31 October 1944, Lt. Comdr. J. E. Allen in command.