George William Trimble (known as Oral)

George William Trimble was born January 31, 1925 in West Van Lear, Kentucky. He was the first of six sons to Thurman and Mildred Trimble. Although his given name was George William, he was known by the nickname “Oral”.

Oral was very athletic. He played baseball, basketball and football. In fact, he broke his arm playing football. Prior to enlisting in the Navy, Oral worked at a brick plant in Delaware County, Ohio (the county his family would move to a few years after his death). 

According to his service record, Oral took his physical and enlisted in the Navy on December 9, 1942. He entered basic training at Great Lakes, Illinois on January 8, 1943. He then went to Armed Guard training in Gulfport, Mississippi from April 2, 1943 to April 30, 1943. After training he was sent to New Orleans and then reported aboard the Heintzelman May 5, 1943. 

A telegram conveyed the news to Thurman and Mildred that their son’s ship was missing. He was officially presumed dead on January 7, 1946. According to the last entry on his service record: “Officially reported to be MISSING IN ACTION, as of 14 July 1943, when the SS Samuel Heintzelman, to which he was assigned as a member of the Armed Guard, failed to reach her destination, and pieces of the ship later washed ashore on one of the Maldive Islands in the Indian Ocean.” 



George William Trimble, Gunners Mate aboard the SS Samuel Heintzelman. 

George William Trimble’s name is inscribed at the Tablets of the Missing at Manila American Cemetery in The Philippines, along with other Americans listed as missing in action or buried at sea during WWII. 

This brief biography was prepared by Brad Trimble, a nephew Oral never met. I would personally like to thank Eric Andersen for taking the time and expense to prepare this tribute Website to the crew of the S.S. Samuel Heintzelman.
 Biography prepared by Brad Trimble, Feb 2004

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