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Suffolk - William Webb Patterson, 89, died on March 23, 2013 at Kindley Assisted Living of Asbury Methodist Village in Gaithersburg, MD. Mr. Patterson was born January 10, 1924 in Norfolk, VA, the son of Harvey D. and Wydie Webb Patterson. He graduated from Maury High School in 1942. After graduation, he joined the Naval Aviation Cadet program and went on to become a carrier pilot in the Pacific campaign during World War II. He was assigned aboard the U.S.S. Lexington and U.S.S. Yorktown, flying the TBM Avenger torpedo bomber. Mr. Patterson participated in many of the battles of early 1945, providing air support to the invasions of Iwo Jima and Okinawa, among others. He was awarded the Navy Cross and the Distinguished Flying Cross for his participation in the attack on the Japanese battleship Yamato when he scored a direct torpedo hit on an accompanying destroyer, the Yahagi.
After the war, Mr. Patterson graduated from Virginia Tech with a B.S. in Civil Engineering and worked as a professional engineer for the Army Corps of Engineers, the Department of the Navy, and as Public Works Director for Marine Corps Base Quantico. He retired as a Lt. Commander in the Naval Reserves. He has resided in Norfolk, Woodbridge and Suffolk, VA.
Mr. Patterson's first wife, Agnes Campbell, died on the same date in 1984. He is survived by his 5 children from that marriage, Margaret (Steve) Griffin, Richard (Liz) Patterson, Thomas (Maria) Patterson, David (Linda) Patterson, and Ellen (Jim) Kent, and 13 grandchildren. He later married Mary Scott Lydens and is survived by his 2 step sons from that marriage, Frank (Becky) Lydens, and Robert (Pam) Lydens, and their 5 children. His older brother, Harvey D. Patterson, preceded him in death, and he is survived by his younger brother, Randolph F. Patterson, and several nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held on Friday, March 29 at 11 a.m. at the Guild Memorial Chapel, Asbury Methodist Village in Gaithersburg, MD with a reception to follow. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in his memory to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals or any veteran's organization.
Published in The Virginian Pilot on Mar. 27, 2013