William George Abbott was born in Norfolk, Virginia, on 19 February 1913, son of Fred C. and Aldya Dey Abbott. He attended Virginia Polytechnic Institute, Blacksburg, Virginia, for two years and was a student at the University of Richmond (night school) while employed by the Commonwealth of Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Board. Accepting a commission as Ensign in the Supply Corps of the US Naval Reserve on 13 December 1937, he had periods of training duty each year in Norfolk, Virginia, and on 8 July 1940, began active duty as a student at the Supply Corps Reserve Officers School at Georgetown University, Washington, DC. Through subsequent advancement and his transfer to the US Navy from the Naval Reserve in 1946, he attained the rank of Captain, SC, USN, to date from 1 July 1956.
Completing the course at the Naval Supply Corps Reserve Officers School he reported on 29 September 1940, as Disbursing Officer for Destroyer Division 7, and served in that capacity until November 1941. He was then ordered to Headquarters, Eleventh Naval District, San Diego, California, where he was on duty at the outbreak of World War II in December, that year. Detached in August 1942, he next served at the Naval Air Station, Elizabeth City, North Carolina, and from March 1943 to May 1945 was at sea as Supply Officer of the USS Frederick Funston (APA-39), which operated in both the Mediterranean and Pacific Areas.
He was awarded a letter of Commendation, with Ribbon and Combat "V," as follows: "For meritorious conduct in the performance of his duties as Supply Officer of the USS FREDERICK FUNSTON (APA-89) while engaged in operations against the enemy from July 1943 to March 1945. He participated in the assault invasions of Sicily, Salerno, Saipan, Guam, Leyte, Luzon, Lingayen Gulf and Iwo Jima, and the resupply of Salerno, Naples and Leyte..."
He served as Supply and Fiscal Officer of the US Naval Reserve Base, New Orleans, Louisiana, from June 1945 until August 1946, and after a period of terminal leave was released from active duty. Following his transfer to the Supply Corps of the regular Navy, he was ordered to the Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island, and from September 1947 to May 1948 attended the Logistics Course. In June 1948 he reported to Commander SIXTH Fleet in the Mediterranean, and during the next two years served as Fleet Logistics and Supply Officer on the Staff.
From July 1950 until August 1953 he was on duty in the Navy Department, Washington, DC, as Head, Distribution Policy and Bureau of Supplies and Accounts Liaison Branch, in the Office of the Assistant Chief of Naval Operations (Materiel). A tour of duty followed as Chief, Logistics Plans Officer at Headquarters, Military Air Transport Service, Washington, DC, and in August 1955 he reported as Supply Officer of the Naval Repair Facility, Naval Station, San Diego, California.
Under orders of 8 January 1958, he reported to the Commander Service Force, Atlantic Fleet, for duty as Assistant Force Supply Officer. On 17 July 1959, he was detached for hospitalization in Portsmouth, Virginia, Naval Hospital, and on 19 November 1959, was ordered as the District Supply Officer, Eighth Naval District, New Orleans, Louisiana.
In addition to the Commendation Ribbon with Combat "V," Captain Abbott had the American Defense Service Medal, Fleet Clasp; the American Campaign Medal; European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with two operation stars; Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with four stars; World War II Victory Medal; the National Defense Service Medal; and the Philippine Liberation Ribbon.