Tuesday, July 24, 2007

William L. Traynor, 1920-2007

United States Marine Corps sealWorld War II veterans are passing away at the rate of 1000-2000 each day, according to estimates. Last week, my uncle, a retired Marine, died at age 86. He was very humble and didn't talk much to this nephew about his military career (neither did his wife, my aunt, a Navy nurse). In retirement, he enjoyed golf, the New York Times Crossword Puzzle, and living in Pensacola, Florida.

Like many if not most veterans of military service, my uncle probably thought of his extraordinary service as just doing his part. But from my perspective, he was one of many who validate the inscription on the Marine Corps War Memorial, that among these, "Uncommon Valor Was A Common Virtue."

Semper Fi, Uncle, and OO-RAH to the United States Marine Corps.


Colonel William L. "Moose" Traynor, USMC (Ret), died on July 17, 2007 in Pensacola, Florida.

Colonel Traynor was born in Koshkonong, Wisconsin, December 21, 1920. As a junior at the University of Wisconsin, Whitewater, in 1942, he left college and enlisted in the Navy as a Naval Aviation Cadet. He completed flight training and entered the Marine Corps as a Lieutenant at NAS Corpus Christi, Texas in July 1943.

He served in World War II as a dive bomber pilot in the Central Pacific, Okinawa and Japan. His service in the Korean War included 104 missions as a fighter attack pilot. During the Viet Nam War he served as Deputy Chief of Air Operations, MACV, Saigon.

During the period 1958-1961 Colonel Traynor served as Commanding Officer of VMA-121 during successive WestPac tours aboard USS Ranger, USS Ticonderoga and USS Coral Sea. VMA-121 became the first jet attack squadron to win both the CNO Flight Safety Award and the Commandant's Efficiency Trophy. Col. Traynor completed his Marine Corps Career as Commanding Officer, MAG-14 and as Program Manager, USMC Harrier Project, Naval Air Systems Command.

Colonel Traynor earned his BS and MA degrees from the University of Maryland, with advanced studies at George Washington University and the University of Virginia. He retired from the Marine Corps in 1971 and joined Stencel Aero Engineering Corp. of Ashville, NC as Vice President for Plans and Programs.

Burial will be at Arlington National Cemetery, Washington DC, with full military honors.

1 comment:

libbylee2487 said...

My deepest sympathies to your family. May he rest in peace.
Semper Fi.

Proud Marine Wife