NCDUs Jenkins, William Maxwell

John Robertson

Staff member
William Maxwell
  • UNIT
U.S.N.R. N.C.D.U. 43
  • RANK
Lieutenant Junior Grade

Navy Cross, Croix de Guerre with palm (France)
Normandy 1944 (Omaha Beach)
from Everett, Washington
born 19.4.1919 Sultan, Washington
son of Warren Maxwell Jenkins (1887-1954) and Helen Louise (nee Black) Jenkins (1885-1970)
1937 graduated Everett High School
1941 graduated University of Washington
1943 graduated Harvard University (MBA)
banker postwar
1945 married Betty Taber (7 children) (divorced)
1987 married Ann Ramsay
died 27.6.2007 Bainbridge Island, Washington
Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia


Navy Cross : The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Lieutenant, Junior Grade William Maxwell Jenkins, United States Naval Reserve, for extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty in action against the enemy while serving as Officer in Charge of Naval Combat Demolition Unit FORTY-THREE (NCDU-43), during the amphibious assault on the Normandy Coast of France on 6 June 1944. Although the LCT to which he was attached sank prior to H-Hour, Lieutenant, Junior Grade, Jenkins salvaged his vital equipment and, directing his crew skillfully and with aggressive determination despite hostile gunfire, successfully accomplished the extremely difficult mission of blowing a fifty-yard gap through the enemy seaward band of beach obstacles. When one of his men was killed while preparing a demolition charge, he unhesitatingly completed the task himself and personally placed a number of charges, subsequently supervising his crew in helping other groups to clear the inward band of obstacles. The conduct of Lieutenant, Junior Grade, Jenkins throughout this action reflects great credit upon himself, and was in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.


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