William DeMoranville was a native of Westerly, Rhode Island, and lived most of his life in Providence. He served in the Navy during World War II, and then worked intermittently as a scalloper. After being injured on a scalloping job, he went to work as a mechanic in a garage in West Warwick. He returned to fishing to earn enough money to buy a car.
He was survived by his wife, Pauline; a daughter, Donna; and his father, Fred, of New Bedford.
The Doris Gertrude, with a crew of eleven, was dragging for scallops on the south side of Georges Bank on January 13 when bad weather caused her to secure her fishing gear and jog in location approximately 150 miles east by south of Pollock Rip Lightship. The vessel was not seen again.
On January 26, the owner of the ship reported to the Coast Guard Rescue Coordination Center in Boston that the Doris Gertrude was overdue. A Coast Guard search continued until February 3. None of the men's bodies were recovered. Eighteen children were left fatherless.