William Councill grew up in the Ingomar portion of McCandless Township, Pennsylvania. His parents were William and Bertha Councill. He was the brother of David Elihu, Ruth Etta, and Barbara Alice.
William was a student at the Perry High School, where, as a member of the Aero Club, he helped fellow students build a glider. He joined the U.S. Army Air Corps after graduation from Carnegie Tech in 1933. He spent two years in a pursuit squadron in Hawaii. (Source: The Pittsburgh Press, August 1, 1945) During WW2 he served as a flight instructor and eventually flew 130 combat missions piloting Lockheed P-38 Lightnings in the South Pacific while serving with the 13th Air Force. (Source: Pittsburgh Post Gazette, May 25, 2014.)
While serving as commander of a fighter group on Guadalcanal, Col. Councill "was credited with leading a flight of four P-38s that killed between 200 and 300 Jap soldiers working on an airfield on Bougainville." (Source: The Pittsburgh Press, August 1, 1945.)
On January 26, 1946, Col. Councill became the transcontinental non-stop record holder flying a modified Lockheed P-80A Shooting Star, S/N 44-85123, from Long Beach, California to LaGuardia, New York (2,457 miles)in 4 hours, 13 minutes, and 26 seconds. His aircraft, which is today displayed at Edwards Air Force Base, California, flew at an average speed of 600 mph. That record stood for eight years.
Col. Councill served as the commander of the 86th Fighter-Bomber Wing at Neubiberg, Germany from June of 1949 until September of 1950.
During the Korean War, Col. Councill was the director of the Tactical Air Command at Langley Air Force Base, Hampton, Virginia.
On Monday, April 5, 1954 Col. Councill was piloting a Lockheed T-33 (52-9664) from the Republic Aircraft plant at Farmingdale, New York to Langley Air Force Base, Virginia when contact was lost with his aircraft and, it is presumed, he crashed into the sea. William Councill had earned the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal, the Pacific Theater of Operations Medal, and the World War II Victory Medal.
William was the husband of Lillie Slay Councill and they had a daughter, Frances.
Lillie Louise Slay Luneau
1914–1991 (m. 1936)