WILLIAM L. AIKEN
UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS
for service as set forth in the following
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to William L. Aiken (343021), Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism as Gunner of a 75-mm. half-track serving with the FIRST Marine Division in action against enemy Japanese forces on Cape Gloucester, New Britain, on 1 January 1944. When his driver was wounded by enemy fire and lost control of the half-track, Corporal Aiken, realizing that the vehicle was moving down on a group of friendly troops and endangering their lives, unhesitatingly climbed up over the gun shield, although hostile machine-gun fire spattered continuously against the weapon, and promptly brought the half-track under control. Corporal Aiken’s splendid initiative and unselfish conduct in the face of grave peril probably saved many lives and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Born: 11 December 1923 in Whitehall, N.Y. Home of record: Hulett’s Landing, N.Y…. His son, U.S. Army Sgt. William Lee Aiken was killed in action during the Vietnam War in 1970… Passed 18 October 1998… Interred along with his son at Our Lady of Angels Cemetery in Whitehall, N.Y.