William George Wheatley

William George Wheatley

        William George Wheatley was a member of the Spring Class 1965 at Abraham Lincoln High School class of 1964 at Abraham Lincoln High School in San Francisco.

        Bill was born on December 1, 1946, to Vern and Mirian (Lara) Wheatley in San Francisco. His father was born in Iowa on March 9, 1914, and died in 1963 at Lincoln, Nebraska. His mother was born in El Salvador on March 2, 1926.

        Another son was born to this marriage: Richard Alan, born September 15, 1948, in Reno Nevada.

        Bill's mother married, second, Hector Martinez, who was the father to Bill when he was growing up. Hector was born on February 27, 1920, in Puerto Rico. One daughter, Sonia Dolores, was born to this marriage on March 29, 1953, in San Francisco.

        His brother, Richard Alan, married Nancy Burrowes and three children were born in San Francisco to this marriage: Patrick Roy, William Richard and Jonathan Lawrence.

        Sonia Dolores, his sister, married Leonard John Coote III, and they had three children: Leonard John, IV, in Fairfield, California; Justin Alexander in England, and Derek William in Fairfield. Derek William, was named after his Uncle Billy.

        While Bill attended A. P. Giannini Middle School, he was selected as Athlete of the Year in 1962. He entered Abraham Lincoln High School in the Fall of 1962. However, he did not graduate.

        He withdrew from Lincoln during his junior year to enlist in the U. S. Marine Corps. After basic and advanced training, he was awarded the Military Occupational Speciality Code of a rifleman.

        Bill was posted to duty in Okinawa, from where he was eventually ordered to Viet Nam. However, it is unknown when he started his tour of duty. He was assigned to Company C, 9th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, in Vietnam. His unit was part of the security force at the Da Nang military complex in Quang Nam Province, South Vietnam. He was killed on October 13, 1965, by a sniper's bullet. He was a private first class when he was listed as a casualty. At the time of his death, he was 18 years old.

        In his column of November 26, 1965, Herb Caen, columnist for the San Francisco, Chronicle, noted the high school gym class of Nancy Burrowes, a girl Bill had dated, collected 48 pounds of cookies that were to be sent to troops in Vietnam. Herb Caen went on to write that Bill's mother, Miriam, was paying the considerable postage and that Bill had been killed in action in October.

        Nancy Burrowes married Bill's brother, Richard. As mentioned earlier, but mention here for emphasis. Nancy and Richard had a son and named him William after his deceased uncle.

        He is listed on the Vietnam Area Casualty List, 1957-1986, Record of the Office of the Secretary of Defense, as having been killed in action in South Vietnam on October 13, 1965.

        William G. Wheatley's name is engraved on Panel 2E, Row 122, on the Viet Nam Memorial Wall in Washington D.C. His remains were returned to the United States and interred on October 27, 1965, in the Golden Gate National Cemetery, San Bruno, San Mateo County, California, in Section K, Grave #255.