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Gunner's Mate Third Class
William Frank "Billy" Long
U. S. Navy

July 8, 1925 – February 11, 1944
Cedarvale Cemetery
Bay City, Matagorda County, Texas

Gold Star Mother
Edna Earl Mangum Long Muller




My Brother


My brother was a wonderful boy,

So courageous and so true,

He must have known that some day;

He would go out across the blue.


When he was but a small boy,

He told tales about the Navy,

He knew it then, but little did we realize;

The Navy would be his craving.


One day he had a call from Uncle Sam,

To go out and help the fleet,

He did this with a willing heart;

Because my brother couldn't be beat.


He loved the old as well as the young,

And they likewise loved him,

A loving heart and a winning smile,

And his life was fulfilled to the brim.


One day he received a call,

Beyond the call of duty,

And went to heaven with a smile;

To be with his God, my God, and yours.


V. Virginia Mayer


Written in memory of my brother,
William Frank Long G. M. 3/c who was
killed in action on February 11, 1944.



Memorial services were held Tuesday in Dickinson, Texas, for Billie Frank Long, son of Mr. and Mrs. Hayward Long, who was reported killed in action in a dispatch to his parents from the U. S. War department. He was with the U. S. Navy.

Billie Frank is remembered by many in Matagorda County where he grew up when his parents lived in Old Gulf.                       

The Daily Tribune
, Tuesday, February 22, 1944


Young Hero's Body To Arrive Here Tomorrow
Body Will Lie In State At Funeral Home

Bay City will pause momentarily from its usual daily tasks Wednesday afternoon to pay homage to the first of the Nation's war dead heroes to be returned here for reinterment.

Although no formal ceremony has been planned, many of the city's citizens will be present at the Missouri Pacific depot when the body of William F. Long, son of Mr. and Mrs. J. Haywood Long, former residents here, arrives from San Antonio. An honor guard of Legionnaires from Bay City Post No. 11, the American Legion, will be on hand to pay homage to the dead hero.


The body will be accompanied here by an escort, and will lie in state at Taylor Bros. Funeral Home until services at Cedar Vale Cemetery Thursday at 3 p.m.


The 19-year-old veteran held the rating of Gunner's Mate 3/c at the time of his death, February 11, 1944, in the Marshall Islands. Before meeting death in an accident during the Marshall Islands campaign, the youthful seaman served in the Aleutian Islands and was stationed at Kiska, and the Gilbert campaigns in the Central Pacific theatre.


He entered service February 6, 1943. He enlisted after graduating from Dickerson[Dickinson] High School where he was a member of the football team, earning his letter for three years. He was captain of the team his senior year. He also earned his varsity letter in basketball, and while in high school won state and national honors as a tenor saxophone soloist. He also attended school at Newgulf and Boling.


Pall bearers will be Roy Lee Walker, who enlisted with young Long and served with him aboard the U. S. S. Pennsylvania, Ernest Martell, Phillip Corona, Virgil Elkenberg of Rice Institute, Maurice Crazzy of Velasco and John Jolly of Dickinson.


Bay City Post No. 11 will furnish the honor guard for the rites.


The young hero was among the first contingent of war dead to arrive in the United States from the Pacific area. His body among the 3,000 war dead arriving aboard the Honda Knot in San Francisco last month.

The Daily Tribune
, Tuesday, November 4, 1947


Funeral Rites Set For Thursday At Cedar Vale

Bay City paused briefly this afternoon to pay tribune to William Long GM 3/c, the first of the Nation's war dead heroes to return here from overseas cemeteries to be reintered upon home soil.

A small crowd of relatives and friends gathered in a small knot at the Missouri Pacific depot to pay tribune to the youthful seaman, who was killed during the Marshall Islands campaign, February 11, 1944. An honor guard of Legionnaires from Bay City Post No. 11, the American Legion, were present to pay their tributes to their comrade-in-arms.

As the flag-draped, olive drab casket was lowered from the railroad car to the baggage truck, the soft sobbing of women pierced the solemn and tense moment.

The casket was transported from the baggage truck to an ambulance and then the slow trip to Taylor Bros. Funeral Home began. The body was escorted here by Chief Harry R. Harris, USN.

The body of the dead hero will lie in state at the funeral home until tomorrow. Funeral services will be held at Cedar Vale Cemetery at 3 p.m.

Pall bearers will be former school mates of the young seaman, who attended schools at Newgulf, Boling and Dickerson [Dickinson].

The youthful hero is the son of Mr. and Mrs. J. Haywood long, former residents of Bay City. William was born here, but moved away while still young. He was 18 years of age at the time of his death.

He entered service February 6, 1943, and served in the Aleutians, Gilbert and Marshall Islands campaigns.                         

The Daily Tribune
, Wednesday, November 5, 1947


Brief, but impressive funeral services for William F. Long, the first of the nation's war dead to be returned from foreign cemeteries for reinterment here, were held at Cedar Vale cemetery this afternoon.

The ceremonies were held under gray skies with the sun intermittently peering down upon the scene. An honor guard of Legionnaires from Bay City Post No. 11, the American Legion, and Chief Petty Officer, H. R. Harris, USN, who escorted the body of the young hero here.

The 19-year-old veteran was killed February 11, 1944 during the Marshall Island campaign. He held the rating of Gunner's Mate 3/c at the time of his death. The young sailor saw action in the Aleutian and Gilbert and Marshall campaign.

Pall bearers included Virgil Eikenberg of Rice Institute, Ernest Martelli, Roy Lee Walker, who enlisted with Long and served with him aboard the USS Pennsylvania, Philip Corona, Maurice Crazzy of Velasco and John Jolly of Dickerson [Dickinson].

Long was born in Bay City but left here at an early age with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. J. Haywood Long. Numerous relatives still reside here. He attended schools in Newgulf, Boling and Dickerson [Dickinson] where he graduated. While still in high school, he earned his varsity letter in football and basketball and was captain of the football team during his senior year. He also won the state and national honors as a tenor saxophonist.

The body arrived here Wednesday afternoon aboard a Missouri Pacific train, and was transported to Taylor Bros. Funeral Home where the body lay in state throughout the remainder of the day. 

The Daily Tribune
, Thursday, November 6, 1947

Photo courtesy of Betty Crosby


Edna Earl Mangum Long Muller died February 20, 2005
Below her death date the marker says "A Mangum Girl"

Funeral Services For Jacob H. Long Set For Saturday.

Funeral services for Jacob Hayward Long, 65, of Dickinson, will be conducted at 1:30 p.m. Saturday from the Howell Memorial Methodist Church in Dickinson. Interment, with Masonic graveside services, will be made in Cedarvale Cemetery at Bay City.

Mr. Long, a retired rice farmer, died at his home last Thursday night.

Survivors include the widow, Mrs. Edna Earl Long, of Dickinson; three daughters, Mrs. Kenzie L. Meyer, Mrs. Allen Rogers, both of Dickinson; and Mrs. John E. Blackman of Bay Cliff; one son, Steven H. Long of Dickinson; two sisters, Mrs. E. P. Maynard of Bay City and Mrs. Howard Johnson of West Columbia; and four grandchildren.

The Rev. Sam Jones will officiate at the services. Taylor Brothers Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

The Daily Tribune, March 2, 1962


In Memory Of Eshie

Edna Earl Mangum Long Muller

1902 - 2005

DICKINSON - Edna "Eshie" Long Muller, 102, of Dickinson, died Sunday, Feb. 20, 2005.

She was born Aug. 7, 1902, in Albany, to the late Will and Florence Mangum. She was a member of Faith Lutheran Church of Dickinson, a life member of VFW Post 6378 Ladies Auxiliary of Dickinson, and she was a Gold Star Mother.

Survivors: daughters, Virginia Long Meyer and Joyce Long Rogers, both of Dickinson; son, Steven Long of Houston; seven grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren; and seven great-great-grandchildren.

Preceded in death by: husbands, Jacob Hayward Long and Harry Muller; daughter, Lee; son, GM3C William Frank "Billy" Long, USN; five sisters; and two brothers.

The family will receive visitors 5-9 p.m. tonight at James Crowder Funeral Home chapel.

Services will be 10 a.m. Tuesday at Faith Lutheran Church.

Burial with full VFW Auxiliary honors will be 3:30 p.m. at Cedarvale Cemetery in Bay City. James Crowder Funeral Home, Dickinson, 281-337-1515.

The Victoria Advocate, Monday, February 21, 2005


 Edna “Eshie” Long Muller

More than 100 years ago Edna Earle Mangum was baptized twice, once in a creek, and later in the First Methodist Church of Bay City in Matagorda County .

She was born during the administration of Teddy Roosevelt and lived during the terms of 16 other presidents.

The Civil War had ended only 37 years before her birth. The long reign of Queen Victoria closed the year before, and America ’s beloved humorist Mark Twain had eight more years to live. The Wright Brothers would not fly the first airplane until a year latter on the windy sands of Kitty Hawk .

She witnessed the carnage and heartache of the First World War and married a Doughboy a year after he returned home and it ended. Together, she and Jacob Hayward Long raised their children throughout the Roaring 20s and the Great Depression. The growing family knew poverty but could easily ignore it because of their huge extended family. She had eight other brothers and sisters. Only one of them is now left.

In 1940, the family moved to Dickinson, and in 1944 she gave a son to freedom on the U. S. S. Pennsylvania. Five months later she gave birth to another at the age of 42.

Her daughter Lee died in 1968.

The family grew an extensive rice farming operation in and around Dickinson. Together, she and Hayward helped build a new sanctuary that would become Howell Memorial Methodist Church.

In 1960, her husband was felled by a stroke and she nursed him for two years until he died a peaceful death. In the early ‘70s, she married Harry Muller, a wonderful Dickinson native who was immediately accepted into his new family as if he had always been there. The marriage was short but delightful. He died in 1975.

For the remaining 27 years, she surrounded herself with family, friends and the faith that had remained unwavering throughout her life.

For decades, she was active in the Weed and Wish Garden Club.

She was a member of Faith Lutheran Church, a Gold Star Mother of VFW Post 6378, as well as the Bay City post. She was active in the Order of the Eastern Star.

Her daughters Virginia and Joyce as well as her son Steven survive her. She also leaves grandchildren Billye Pawlik, Jay Rogers, Rene Nations, Jan Blackmon, Croft Casey, Michelle Brown and Monique Littlejohn. She has 12 great grandchildren, and six great great grandchildren, as well as scores of beloved nieces and nephews.

Her family heard her say over and over throughout the years, “I’m going to live until I die.” Boy did she ever!

Steven Long

Edna Earl [Mangum] {Long} Muller

August 7, 1902
- February 20, 2005

Edna was buried in Section 6 beside her first husband, Jacob Hayward Long (September 6, 1896 – March 1, 1962). Their son Gunners Mate Third Class William Frank "Billy" Long (July 8, 1925 – February 11, 1944) United States Navy was stationed aboard the USS Pennsylvania (BB-38) and was in the Marshall Islands at the time of his death. He died when a powder tank exploded while being loaded into Turret #1 on the ship during battle. He was first buried on the Island of Bikini. In 1945, in preparation to secretly test the atomic bomb on the islands of Bikini and Enewetak, he was moved to Mausoleum #1, Scofield Barracks, Hawaii. He was reinterred at Cedarvale Cemetery in Section 6, Row 19 on November 6, 1947 near his maternal grandfather William Henry Mangum who died in 1944.  At the time of Billy’s death his family was living in Dickinson, Texas.


Copyright 2006 - Present by Carol Sue Gibbs
All rights reserved

Jan. 28, 2006
Aug. 8, 2007