Rank Insignia Previous Honoree ID Next Honoree ID

honoree image
First Name: William

Last Name: Kane

Birthplace: San Rafael, CA, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Navy (present)


Middle Name: R.

Date of Birth: 04 June 1911

Date of Death: 05 February 1957

Rank or Rate: Captain

Years Served:
William R. Kane
'Killer Kane'

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)


William R. "Killer Kane" Kane
Captain, U.S. Navy

William R. Kane was born on 4 June 1911 in San Rafael, CA.

Kane graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, MD, in 1933, was commissioned an Ensign, and became a Naval Aviator. His nickname, "Killer," actually came from his football and wrestling days at Annapolis; it had nothing to do with the war.

On 7 December 1941, Kane was a Lieutenant Commander stationed at Navy Air Command at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, HI. He and his wife, Madeline, lived with their two young children, Bill (a toddler) and Judith (still a baby), next to a runway in a bungalow placed in a row of houses several hundred feet from the USS Arizona on Ford Island. When the Japanese attacked that morning, Kane was just being relieved as Officer of the Day (OOD).

Kane went on to command a fighter squadron from the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise in the Pacific Theater of Operations. During the WWII, he was designated an "Ace" after shooting down a number of Japanese airplanes. He was promoted to Captain in January 1944.

After the war, Kane served in the Military Navy Training Section and was Commanding Officer of the USS Saipan. He was killed in a jet plane crash at age 45.

Medals and Awards

Navy Cross
Distinguished Flying Cross (2 Awards)


Naval Aviator Badge

Death and Burial

Captain William R. Kane died on 5 February 1957 in a plane crash at Augusta, GA. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA.

Kane's wife, Madeline Kane Hurlburt, died on Tuesday, 24 October 2006, at age 94. She is buried with her husband.

Origin of Nickname/Handle:
His nickname, "Killer," actually came from his football and wrestling days at the Naval Academy; it had nothing to do with the war.

Honoree ID: 2689   Created by: MHOH




Honoree Photos

honoree imagehonoree imagehonoree image

honoree imagehonoree image

honoree image