William joined the US Army Air Corps at Big Stone Gap, Virginia and was taken as a prisoner of war when the Philippines, where William was serving as a member of Headquarters, 24th Pursuit Group, fell to the Japanese during WWII. He left the Philippines in 1942, along with hundreds of other Allied prisoners of war, on the Japanese "hell ship" Tottori Maru, bound for Pusan, Korea. After he arrived at Pusan, he was taken to Camp Hoten in Mukden, Manchuria (present-day Shenyang, China) where he died of diarrhea and beri-beri. Military Serial Number 680968.
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