The intersection of Dudley Street and Howard Avenue was designated a Hero Square for William M. Atkinson.
William M. Atkinson United States Navy 22 September 1926 – 19 March 1945 William Mitchell Atkinson was born on September 22, 1926 to Gordon and Goldie Atkinson in Boston, MA. He resided on Dudley St. in Dorchester. William displayed his devotion to our country when enlisted in the United States Navy on September 22, 1943. Seaman First Class (S1) Atkinson proudly served aboard the USS Franklin. On March 19, 1945 the Franklin maneuvered closer to the Japanese mainland than any other U.S. carrier during the war. The ship was attacked by a single dive bomber, lying dead in the water as a result. Over 800 hundred crew members were lost, including S1 Atkinson. He is memorialized on the Tablets of the Missing in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. For the heroism he displayed in service to our country, S1 Atkinson was awarded the Purple Heart. William was survived by his parents residents of Dorchester.