Northern Territory Government

Roll of Honour


USS William B Preston

William B. Preston

Anthony F. Pidinkowski joined the US Marines in 1934 and was a 1st Class Musician. He was divorced from Bettina Leopard in Florida in 1940; and he re-enlisted in the Navy on 11 March 1940. Pidinkowski transferred to the Preston on 5 August 1940 as a 1st Class Seaman.

USS William B. Preston was anchored in Darwin Harbour, tending PBY Catalinas, when the Japanese attack began on 19 February 1942. She quickly got underway, zigzagging through the crowded Harbour. Four bombs exploded off William B. Preston’s bow, breaking bridge windows. She was then hit near the deckhouse, losing control of her steering and jamming the rudder. The aft living compartment was seriously damaged; the deck house was strafed and her machine guns were out of action. Fourteen men were killed, including two missing and three were wounded. 

Pidinkowski is recorded as killed in action, and buried at sea.

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