2nd Lieutenant Bill Lynch



Bill Lynch was drafted by the U.S. Army just after graduating High School. Bill was sent to Fort Benjamin Harrison in Indianapolis. At that time the government had a program to increase the amount of engineers in the United States since many had already been sent to WWII. When Bill arrived at Fort Benjamin Harrison, he was asked to complete an IQ test. Apparently Bill did well enough on the test that he was sent to Louisiana State University to study engineering.

While studying engineering at LSU, Bill was living in student housing located in the Football Stadium. Every morning Bill would wake up to Mike the Tiger (LSU’s school mascot) roaring as he was being fed breakfast. Bill’s time studying engineering was short-lived. After about 1 ½ years, the demands of WWII were increasing and the U.S. government did away with the engineering program.

Bill was then sent to Fort Gruber in Muskogee, Oklahoma to complete basic training in November of 1944. He was to serve the Army Infantry’s 42nd division as Private First Class. While in basic training and before being deployed oversees, Bill was ready to marry his girlfriend Elizabeth Bailey. Due to Elizabeth being in nursing school (which didn’t allow nursing students to be married), Bill and Elizabeth were forced to elope. Soon after eloping with Elizabeth, Bill was deployed to Europe.

Bill and his division boarded a ship in New York Harbor and made way across the Atlantic. They passed through the Strait of Gibraltar, into the Mediterranean Sea, and docking at Marseille, France. They headed to Strasbourg Germany and set up next to the Rhine River with Germans on the opposing bank. Bill and his division were there for 5 months before being sent further north to join The Battle of the Bulge.

After The Battle of the Bulge, the Army had lost many officers. Bill had caught the eye of a commanding officer and was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant. Bill’s duties involved acting as a Liaison between the 222nd Regiment and the 2nd Battalion. One day while performing his duties, Bill’s Jeep ran over a land mine. Bill spend the next 71 days in a French hospital. By the time he was released from the hospital, the war had ended.

 After the war ended, Bill stayed in Europe performing special duty on the post-WWII European infrastructure. Bill eventually returned to the U.S. and was discharged from active duty in 1946. He would stay enlisted with the Army Reserves for another 5 years. Bill was based in Terre Haute with the Army’s 70th Division. When asked about his military service, Bill said, "There was a job to be done, and we did it."