The William E. Taylor Division was formed in 1978 in Marshallton, Delaware at the Navy Operations Support Center on Kirkwood Highway and was present at both of the Naval Sea Cadet Corps 25th and 50th Anniversary Ceremonies in Washington, D.C.
Our division is named in memory of William Earl Taylor, Watertender Second Class, born in 1924 in Wilmington, Delaware.
In the United States Navy, watertender (abbreviated WT) was a petty officer rating which existed from 1884 to 1948. Watertenders held a paygrade equivalent to today’s petty officer first class. A chief watertender (CWT) paygrade was established in 1903. In 1921, the lower paygrade was split into watertender first class (WT1 or WT1c) and watertender second class (WT2 or WT2c). Another lower paygrade, watertender third class (WT3 or WT3c), was established in 1943. The watertender and boilermaker ratings were merged into a new “boilerman” rating in 1948, which merged into “machinist’s mate” in 1996
William E. Taylor enlisted in the U.S. Navy on 27 May 1941 when he was 17 years old. During his time in service he served aboard the USS J. Franklin Bell, APA16 and the USS Hoel, DD533. He perished aboard the USS Hoel along with 253 of his shipmates on 25 October 1944 in the Battle off Samar during World War II.
Below is the USS Hoel DD-533 heading out to sea with the Golden Gate Bridge at its bow. This picture was taken October 25, 1943. One year later on the same day, the USS Hoel was lost during the Battle of Samar on October 25, 1944.
Ships named for Delaware
- USS Delaware (1776), was a 24-gun frigate built in 1776 and captured by the British in 1777
- USS Delaware (1798), was a 20-gun ship purchased in 1798
- USS Delaware (1820), was a 74-gun ship of the line, launched in 1820 and burned in 1861
- USS Delaware (1861), was a side-wheel steamer built in 1861 and decommissioned in 1865
- USS Delaware (1866), was a screw steamer renamed from Piscataqua in 1869
- USS Delaware (BB-28), was a battleship commissioned in 1910 and scrapped in 1924
- USS Delaware (SSN-791), a Virginia class submarine entered service in 2018