William L. Slaughter (1945/10/05)
A football game prevented a merchant mariner from rejoining the civilian community.
William LeRoy Slaughter entered the world on May 2, 1927, in Fresno, California, the son of Mr. and Mrs. James E. Slaughter. His brothers William, Jerry, James, Francis and his sister Nancy joined him in the family. The Slaughter family later moved to Los Gatos, California where he entered high school.
In 1942 James Slaughter Sr. acquired the Log Cabin Restaurant on Soquel Avenue and moved his family to Santa Cruz. William transferred into Santa Cruz High School in the spring of 1942 and began a general and varied course of study. He also played on the high school football team and started a dance band that performed throughout the area.
In November 1944, William Slaughter joined the Merchant Marines and was sent to Avalon, California for training prior to being shipped to the South Pacific. In 1945, Able-bodied Seaman Slaughter's ship transported men and materials to the Marshall Islands, the Carolines, Saipan, Tinian and Okinawa.
On October 5, 1945, while home on leave in Santa Cruz, Slaughter borrowed his father's convertible coupe and headed to Monterey with friends for a nighttime football game. About a mile south of Castroville, the car he was driving crashed head on into another vehicle and he was killed. Following a funeral service, his remains were buried in Oakwood Memorial Park.
(SCHSC Pg. 18, SCSn October 7, 1945 1:3, SCR October 12, 1945 -1)