William Amol Ronk
William Amol Ronk was born February 10, 1922, in Kanawha County, West Virginia, to William McKinley and Cora Toler Ronk. He had a younger brother Jefferson who was born in 1923. At the time of his birth, the family lived in East Bank; however, they were in Nicholas County in 1930. The family returned to Kanawha County during the 1930s, and young William had a newspaper route for a few years. He graduated from Charleston High School in 1939 and attended Morris Harvey College. He also worked for American Telephone and Telegraph Company in Charleston.
In the fall of 1941, Ronk was named as one of a group of students to receive instruction in a civilian pilot training program at the Kanawha Flying School in association with the college. A year later, in September 1942, the Naval Aviation Cadet Selection Board announced that Ronk and Charles Champe, also of Charleston, had been accepted for training. It was at that time that Ronk joined the Navy. He was sent to Athens, Georgia, for pre-flight training and in January 1943 was transferred to the naval air station at Dallas, Texas, for primary flight training. Three months later, he was sent to the naval base at Pensacola, Florida, where he was commissioned a second lieutenant in July 1943.
Subsequently, Lt. Ronk was transferred to the Marine Corp and sent overseas to the Pacific Theatre of war. A Hellcat pilot, Ronk participated in bombing missions that included New Britain and the taking of Manila. Ronk was killed on March 2, 1945, at Luzon in the Philippines.
In 1949, the body of Lt. William Amol Ronk was returned to the United States and reinterred in Cunningham Memorial Park in St. Albans.
West Virginia Archives and History welcomes any additional information that can be provided about these veterans, including photographs, family names, letters and other relevant personal history. For more information contact Constance Baston at (304) 558-0230.
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