Master Chief Hospital Corpsman (Ret.) 1962-1991. William Matthew Griffith (lovingly known as Bill and Nampa) went to be with the Lord on January 13, 2020.
Bill was born to the late William W. Griffith and Lilas Jane Griffith in Opelika, Alabama on April 21, 1943. He joined the U.S. Navy on 19 September 1962 after attending one year of junior college. He received Recruit Training at the Naval Training Center, Great Lakes, IL. He then reported to USS Cony (DD508) in December 1962. In July 1963, HN Griffith transferred to Hospital Corps School, Great Lakes, IL., and then to Pharmacy Technician School at Enlisted Training Services, Portsmouth, VA. He reported to Naval Hospital, Portsmouth, Virginia for duty in August 1964.
In 1966, Hospital Corpsman Second Class Griffith was transferred to U.S. Naval Hospital, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. From there he transferred to Field Medical Service School and then to the 2nd Marine Division. In May 1969, Hospital Corpsman First Class Griffith was assigned with 2nd Battalion, 1st Marines, 1st Marine Division, (REIN), Republic of Vietnam, after which he was transferred to the Naval Dispensary, Washington, D.C. and then to the Bureau of Naval Personnel, where he assigned Hospital Corps personnel to the operating forces and overseas commands of the Atlantic Fleet.
In September 1974, Chief Hospital Corpsman Griffith reported to Medical Service Technician School in Portsmouth, VA. Upon completion, he reported for duty in the USS California (CGN 36), and upon being advanced to Senior Chief Hospital Corpsman in November 1976, he was assigned for duty in the USS Nimitz (CVN 68). In August 1978, Senior Chief Hospital Corpsman Griffith was transferred to Naval Hospital, Portsmouth, VA. After promotion to Master Chief Hospital Corpsman in 1981, he served as Command Master Chief, Naval Hospital, Portsmouth, VA; Command Master Chief, Naval School of Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD; and, Command Master Chief, National Capital Region, Bethesda, MD. On 17 June 1987, he was installed as the Force Master Chief, Naval Medical Department, Washington, D.C. Bill retired after 30 years of Naval service.
Other than his parents, Bill is preceded in death by his brother J.B. Griffith and sister Louise Beard.
Left to cherish his memory is his wife, Carol; stepsons, Grant (Kristine), Mark and Matt; son, William, daughters, Lisa and Mary; and much-loved grandchildren, great-grandchildren.
A private interment for Bill will be on April 28, 2021 at Albert G Horton, Jr. Memorial Veterans Cemetery in Suffolk, VA. The service will be recorded for viewing on April 30, 2021. A celebration of his life will take place at a later date when possible.
His family wishes to thank Altmeyer Funeral Home (special thanks to Nick). Deacon Gary Harmeyer of Church of the Ascension, Albert G Horton, Jr. Memorial Veterans Cemetery (Erika & staff). Also, to all his skilled medical professionals during his illness. And to our friends, family and neighbors for their continued thoughts and prayers.