Virginia Heroes

William Martin Horak

Machinist's Mate, First Class, Navy

Born: October 25, 1920
Hometown: Petersburg City, VA
Served In: World War II
Casualty Date: November 13, 1943
Died In: off Bougainville

Machinist’s Mate First Class “Buster” Horak was serving aboard the USS Maury near Hawaii when Pearl Harbor was attacked. After the attack, the Maury patrolled the Hawaiian Islands and then was sent off to help in the Battle of the Coral Sea and the Battle of Midway. He was transferred to the USS Denver CL-58 in October 1942 and was stationed on-board  during the defense of Cape Torokina, Bourgainville. The ship was hit by an aerial torpedo which knocked out all of USS Denver’s power and killed Buster and 19 other men.

His body was repatriated to the United States and re interred in St Joseph’s Cemetery in Petersburg, Virginia.

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