William G Werner was born in New York on July 7, 1919.. In Rye his family lived at 45 Harbor Terrace Dr., in the Hix Park section of Rye and were members of Christs Church. William was a graduate of Rye High School clas of 1937. He was president of his senior class and a member of the National Honor Society.
Among his varied interest were football, track and the Radio and Ping Pong clubs.William had completed four years at Dartmouth College before enlisting at Fort Jay on Governors Island on July 25, 1941. He served as an officer in the U.S. Army during World War II.
Following graduation, he enlisted and received advance training at Camp Davis, N. C, completing training from the Armys master gunnery school at Norfolk, Va. He was in the anti-aircraft division of the Army. He went overseas in April, 1942, embarking from a Pacific coast port, following a short furlough. He received his commission as a second lieutenant while serving overseas.
William served as a Second Lieutenant the U. S. Armys Battery B,
237th AAA Searchlight Battalion., of 197th Field Artillery Regiment. The Searchlight Battalion was formed in Townsville, Australia, during the dark early days of World War II, when the Japanese had overrun almost all of the South Pacific.
The unit fought bravely in New Guinea and the Philippines, building an extraordinary esprit de corps. William was killed in action on November 18, 1943 in the Battle of Sattelberg in New Guinea.
This battle was a part of the Huon Peninsula Campaign. The Battle of Sattelberg commenced on the 17th and ended on the 25th.
A letter was received by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. William Werner of Harbor Terrace Avenue, twenty-four hours after they received word from the War Department of his death on November 18 in New Guinea. In the letter, which was dated November 7, he wrote,"No such luck as heading back. We have just begun to fight. Im afraid I wouldnt like returning home without taking a crack at the Japs. Granted I have seen action, but Id like more."
Born in Rye Lieut. Werner was 24 years old. William's remains were returned to Rye in 1948 and he was buried at Greenwood Cemetery with full military honors.
COMMENDATIONS ★ World War II Victory Medal
★ Purple Heart
★ American Campaign Medal
★ Army Presidential Unit Citation
★ Army Good Conduct Medal
★ Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal