Lt. Nathan Hollingsworth Williams, formerly of Oswego, New York, a Weapons Systems Operator in the United States Navy, died Wednesday in a training accident at Lemoore Naval Air Station in Lemoore, California. He was 28.
Nathan, the son of Alan and Gay Williams, was born in Oswego on June 11, 1982. He attended Oswego High School where he played varsity hockey and varsity lacrosse, and played saxophone in the wind ensemble, marching band and jazz band. Nathan attended the University of Rochester on a Navy Reserve Officer Training Corps scholarship. He joined the Theta Chi fraternity, where he served as house steward and vice president. While at the University of Rochester, Nathan met his future wife, Meredith Rauch, of Delmar, New York. He graduated on May 28, 2004 with departmental honors in math, and was commissioned an ensign in the United States Navy.
From the time Lt. Williams entered the ROTC program, he knew he wanted to fly. His hard work in the program paid off, and in the summer of 2004, Lt. Williams reported for duty at Naval Air Station Pensacola for flight training. In March 2006 Lt. Williams completed flight training and earned his Naval Flight Officer wings. Lt. Williams was assigned to fly the F/A-18 Super Hornet, the Navy’s elite fighter jet, and became part of the Black Lions squadron based at Naval Air Station Oceania near Virginia Beach. Lt. Williams served in the Afghanistan theatre aboard the U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt providing air support for US ground troops.
After returning from Afghanistan, Lt. Williams was chosen to be a flight instructor at Lemoore Naval Air Station, training other flight officers on the Super Hornet, and was also selected for the West Coast Super Hornet Demonstration Team. Lt. Williams was the recipient of the Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Star, and two Presidential Air Medals.
Nathan married Meredith Rauch in Troy, New York on January 13, 2007. He and Meredith shared a love of travel, cooking and their two adopted rescue dogs, Bailey and Tate. They also enjoyed returning to the Oswego area for holidays and Byrne Dairy eggnog. Nathan was also a devoted fan of the Buffalo Bills.
Lt. Williams is survived by his wife Meredith, his parents Alan and Gay Williams of Oswego and his brothers Jeffrey and Seth of New York City. In lieu of flowers, the family has suggested a donation be made to the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, 875 North Randolph Street, suite 225, Arlington, VA 22203.
A memorial service will be held at Lemoore Naval Air Station in Lemoore, California, on Tuesday, April 12 at 10:00 a.m. Funeral arrangements in Oswego, New York, are pending with the Nelson Funeral Home. www.nelson-funeralhome.com