Intrepid Commanding Officer – W. D. Sample

An Educational Venue

 for former U.S.S. Intrepid (CV, CVA, CVS-11) Crewmembers

Chapter XII

Intrepid Commanding Officer

Captain William D. Sample  (Rear Admiral USN) – May 19, 1944 – May 30, 1944



William D. Sample was born in Buffalo, NY, on March 9, 1898. He entered the U.S. Naval Academy in 1915, and was graduated with the class of 1919. He subsequently advanced in rank to that of Rear Admiral in August 1944.

After graduation from the Naval Academy, during World War I, he served until August of that year on board the USS Henderson. During the remaining period of the war he served on the destroyers Dixie, Trippe and Wiles, based on Queenstown, Ireland.

He began flight training at the Naval Air Station, Pensacola, FL in January 1923, and later that year was designated a Naval Aviator.

From June 1931 to June 1932 he was General Inspector of Aircraft, Central District, Wright Field, Dayton, OH. In June 1934 he assumed command of Fighting Squadron FIVE of the USS Lexington.

He served as Navigator of the USS Ranger from June 1938 until April 1939. In July 1940 he returned again to Pensacola, where he served as Superintendent of Aviation Training until March 1941, and as Executive Officer of the Naval Air Station until June 1942.

On April 19, 1944, he assumed command of the Intrepid,and on May 29th transferred to command of the USS Hornet,a unit of Task Group 58.3. In the latter command he participated in operations in the Marianas Islands, in the Battle of the Philippine Sea, strikes against Iwo Jima, Guam and Rota.

Detached from the Horner on August 3, 1944, he became Commander Carrier Division 24, later Commander Carrier Division 27, in the rank of Rear Admiral. In February 1945 he was transferred to command of Carrier Division 22, in which command he was serving when reported “missing in action” on October 2, 1945, when the plane in which he was flying failed to return from a familiarization flight near Wakayama, Japan. He was officially declared dead a year and a day later, October 3, 1946.

The USS Sample (DE-1048) was named to honor Radm William D. Sample, USN. Her keel was laid on July 19, 1963, at Puget Sound Bridge and Dredging Company, Seattle, WA, and was launched on August 15, 1964.

Ref: Twenty INTREPID Years Cruise Book


Ref: –

                                                                 –  Twenty INTREPID Years Cruise Book


This Educational Venue is for former Intrepid Crewmembers

who served …’with pride and dedication’

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