NORMAN — William A. Appleby Jr. was born Dec. 10, 1921, in Norman to William A. Appleby Sr. and Mary Maire (Slajer) Appleby.
Services will be 2 p.m. today at the First Presbyterian Church in Altus.
He spent his summer vacations on his grandfather’s farm and later worked for his father, who was a building contractor.
Bill attended grade school and junior and senior high schools in Norman, graduating from high school in 1939. He then attended the University of Oklahoma and graduated in 1943 with a degree in architectural engineering.
Bill completed Reserve Officer Training Corps basic at the University of Oklahoma from 1939 to 1941. He then served in the United States Navy Reserve from December 1941 to March 1955 and was on active duty from May 1943 to September 1947. After attending midshipman school at the University of Notre Dame, he was commissioned an ensign in training bases at Little Creek, Va., Camp Bradford, Va., and Solomons, Md. After attending anti-aircraft training at Rhode Island, Bill shipped out on the Queen Elizabeth Roseneath in Scotland.
In January, Bill was assigned to the LCF No. 9, an anti-aircraft that the Navy received from Great Britain. He was stationed on the left flank of Omaha Beach for the Normandy invasion to protect the small boat lanes from strafing German aircraft. He returned to England and delivered the USS LCF No. 9 back to the British. Bill then received orders to return to the United States and continued training at Little Creek. He completed training in December 1944 and was assigned to the LSM No. 452M, a large Ocean Landing Ship, where he served as the gunnery and communications officer and later became an executive officer. After being ordered back to Guam, Bill became a commanding officer and was then ordered back to San Francisco for the eventual decommissioning of the ship.