The son of a WWII veteran, Dobbins grew up in Minneapolis and joined the Navy at 17 years old in 1962, completing boot camp in San Diego.
He started as a Boatswain Mate but changed rate to a Store Keeper. His first assignment was onboard the USS Boyd DD 544 Fletcher Class Destroyer, with his main responsibilities involving Anti-Submarine Warfare and Plane Guarding for Air Craft Carriers in the Western Pacific. Collateral duties included manning a Mount 51 gun crew.
Petty Officer Dobbins and his crew spent a great deal of time conducting Formosa Patrol for SEATO South Eastern Treaty Organization, patrolling between Formosa (Taiwan) and the People's Republic of China.
His second and final assignment was onboard the USS Piedmont AD 17 Destroyer Tender, coverings stores, parts and repairs for Western Pacific Destroyers until 1965.
Bill Dobbins has served as a member of the Eden Prairie Veterans Memorial Committee.
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