Ed. High School, Ohio
prev. 2nd Lieut in US Army, 1937-41 2nd Lieut in Air Corps Reserve
A motor mechanic, and mail and passenger pilot.
He was the pilot (and sole survivor of the crash) of this New Standard D-25 s/n NC9795 belonging to Erie Isles Airways which crashed into Lake Erie on 29 December 1937. Flying from Port Clinton, he ran into heavy fog trying to land at Put-In-Bay (which is only a 5-minute flight away):
He said he "spotted a blue patch in the haze and started downward, believing it to be solid ice." Instead, it was water into which the plane plunged, tossing out the passengers.
The three passengers drowned, despite his attempts to hold onto the woman passenger, Nancy Howard; "he held onto her with one hand, but the cold water finally compelled him to loosen his grip and she sank." William hung onto the tail until he was rescued. He was later exonerated.
m., 1 child
Address in 1941: 3456 W 99 St, Cleveland, Ohio
Postings: 4FPP, 4aFPP
"A good officer and sound pilot"; "Somewhat slow at first but completed by flying the Liberator quite satisfactorily."
Later joined NASA as a Technician
d. 26 Jan 1990