Straitiff, William “Bill” P, born 26-03-1922 in Fairchance, Pennsylvania was the eldest of a family of 4 children. When he was in the 8th grade he moved to Fairchance, Pennsylvania. He worked in the coal mines. Straitiff left Fairchance and on 31-12-1942 in Uniontown, PA.,
Bret Hickle only knows one anecdote about his childhood :
“He found an musical instrument in a charity sell at church. The minister told Bill if he could play a song within a week, he would be given another musical instrument. When he was in Autria, Bill was part of the band.”
William joined the paratroopers on the 31-12-1942 and then joined the 3rd platoon of A Company in the 1st Battalion 506th PIR 101st Airborne Division under command of General Maxwell Taylor and started training at Camp Toccoa, Georgia..
“I do not know why he chose the paratroopers, I just know that Bill was robust and he liked a bit of challenge”.
“Bill” Straitiff did not speak that much about this part of his life :
“I also know he jumped over Normandy and Holland, he fought in Bastogne and Germany. I do not know what he did in Normandy and Holland. The only thing I know is that he was wounded in Normandy. I think it happened before the Division left France because he was not send back in England with the others”. Bill exactly fought in the town of Ravenoville France, later he participated in the attack on Carantan France. In December 1944 when Able company was fighting in Noville, Straitiff recovered from his wounds and fought the last part of the Battle of the Bulge with Able Company.
In Bastogne, Don Straith told me he remembered him when they met at the help station. He was lying on a stretcher completely shocked.
Grady E. Boykin, Sr ,his 506th maat remembered that Bill was the chief of a section during a patrol when planes were flying over them. Bill yelled “cover”, the planes started firing but fortunately nobody got injured. Grady E. Boykin, Sr survived the war too and died 04-12-2014, age 89, in Natchez, Adams County, Mississippi.
Bill and Able company moved through Germany where they found a Concentration Camp in Landsberg, Germany. He participated in the raid on Himmelgeist, where their buddy Sergeant Joseph A Caivano was killed in battle on 12-04-1945, age 28–29. Bill survived that and then his unit moved to Berchesgaden, Hitler’s mountain top retreat. He retired in the military service on 19-11-1945 with a Sergeant position.
William P. “Bill” Straitiff received the Bronze Star, here by commander General Sink, Robert Frederick “Bounding Bob”. the Purple Heart, the Good Conduct Medal, the European Campaign Medal w/ Arrowhead and four battle stars, the WWII Victory Medal, the WWII Occupation Medal with Austria Clasp, the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, the Parachute Badge Basic with two battle stars and an arrow head. Then he also received 3 Presidential Unit Citations. In 1947, he married Nevada Victor but they never had children.
Death and burial ground of Straitiff, William “Bill” P,
After the war, Bill worked as a car builder. William “Bill” P. Straitiff died on 10-04-1999, age 77, in Delaware, USA and is buried at Mountain View Memorial Park Brownfield, Fayette County, Pennsylvania.
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