|Oettle, William B. (805th)|
|People - Honorees|
William B. Oettle
Biography: William Oettle was born on born March 28, 1926 in Hardin, IL. He is the son of Philip Wesley Oettle and Emily “Emma” Miller. He attended public schools in Hardin but left prior to graduating.
Service Time: Bill was inducted at Ft. Sheridan, IL. and completed 17 weeks of basic at North Camp Hood, TX. He qualified as a first class gunner and was sent to the front, arriving on Feb. 11, 1945. Bill was placed in the 805th Tank Destroyer Battalion, B Company and moved with the unit and joined B Co., 805th Tank Destroyers. Spearheaded under Lt. McClellan and was in the first Tank Destroyer to cross the Po River on a ferry before the Sherman tanks could cross. He was also with the first Tank Destroyers into Verona, Italy and was instrumental in destroying a German 88mm anti-tank gun, German tank, German 20mm anti-aircraft guns, plus much more too numerous to mention. Bill received the European-African-Middle-Eastern Theatre Ribbon with two Bronze Battle Stars for Apennines Mountains, Po Valley and Alp Mountains, Victory Medal, American Theatre Ribbon, Good Conduct Medal, Army of Occupation Medal of Germany, and was recommended for the Bronze Star Medal. He was discharged May 13, 1946, after attending cooking and baking school and graduated as 1st cook and baker. He left the service as a Private First Class.
Bill went back to school after his return from the service to not only receive his high school diploma but also continue his education for five more years of college, ultimately becoming a school teacher. He taught all ages and various disciplines in Social Studies, Language Arts and Art. He would teach for 28 years, 3 years in Red Bud, IL and the 25 years in Waterloo, IL. Bill would meet and marry the former Edith Golden Jones who was the daughter of Dolph and Mabel Perry Jones. The couple would marry on Aug. 28, 1948 and have six children, one girl, Rita and five boys, Lannie, Greg, Joe, Terry and Bryan. Over the years he did many other jobs including construction, surveying of the Illinois River and fruit picker. After he retired from teaching, Bill became a fruit grower. In Bill’s spare time, he enjoyed hunting and fishing and was a member and life member of a number of organizations, VFW, American Legion, NEA and ITA (Illinois Teacher Association). Not only was Bill a Life Member of the Tank Destroyer Society, he also held many administrative positions in the organization including serving 4 years as the President. He is also a charter member of the First Baptist Church of Prairie du Rocher in Illinois.
I want to thank Bill for providing this information and for his service to our country.
|Last Updated on Monday, 04 October 2010 17:16|