William J. Pires was born January 6, 1923, in New Bedford, Massachusetts. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy December 14, 1942, and attended boot camp at Great Lakes, Illinois, and was then assigned to the Armed Guard Center in Brooklyn, New York. Ships he served on were the SS LOUIS MARSHALL, the SS PAN MARYLAND, and a Trinidad BWI Crash Boat. He served in NAS at BOCA CHICA, (Key West) Florida, as well. William received the European North African, Good Conduct with Star, Victory and American Campaign awards. His most memorable experience was returning to the U.S. with 999 German prisoners and one Arab spy in 1943 aboard a Liberty Ship, the SS LOUIS MARSHALL. He later took liberty in Casablanca, Oran, Algiers, Naples and Bari. During his civilian career, he served on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as a launch operator at Cape Cod Canal, Cape Cod, for 19 years. He also was a construction inspector for Rivers and Harbors in The New England Division of the Army Engineers for six years. He retired as a LCDR for the Coast Guard Reserves after 24 years. He and his wife, Estelle, have four children and currently reside in Acushnet, Massachusetts for six months out of the year and spend the other half in North Jupiter, Florida.
|Site of the Brooklyn Armed Guard Center snapped by Bill Pires|
|Dock area of the old Brooklyn Armed Guard Center snapped by Bill Pires|
|Ben Valles Merchant Marine WWII (left). Next to right Arthur Freitas - SS Black Point Ceremony - Armed Guard. Tom Dufrense believed to be Armed Guard.|
|Ben Valles and Arthur Frietas - SS Black Point Ceremony|
|Arthur Frietas, middle Tom Dufrense and Bill Pires - SS Black Point Ceremony|
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