William L. Foye
William L. Foye was born on September 12, 1920 to parents John J Foye and Helen Lee Foye. All of his family were born in the Bronx eventually moving to 33 Meadow Place in Rye, New York. Rye was still just a small town in 1940 with a population of 9,865.
William’s father was then 68 years old and a retired mailman who worked part time as a Delivery Man. During the Great Depression, William and his siblings were working jobs to help support the family.
William was a Rye High School graduate, class of 1938, and was on the Track and Field team during his time at school. After graduation William worked as a clerk in a building supplies store. In 1939, he earned a total of $98 ($1,862 in today’s dollars) and worked 8 weeks of the year. He registered for the draft on February 14th, 1942.
William served in the United States Army as a Lieutenant during WWII. He served with the 286th Engineer Combat Battalion.
An Engineer Combat Battalion (ECB) was a designation for a battalion-strength combat engineer unit in the U.S. Army, most prevalent during World War II. They are a component of the United States Army Corps of Engineers.
Best known for pontoon bridge construction and clearing hazards in amphibious landings, their duties also included serving as sappers deploying and deactivating explosive charges and unexploded munitions, mapmaking, camouflage, and a wide variety of construction services supporting frontline troops.
They also fielded defensive .30 cal. and .50 cal. machine gun squads, anti-tank rocket and grenade launchers, and were required to fight as infantry as a secondary mission.
William was discharged in July of 1946, and proceeded to move out of Rye and settle down in Gloversville, NY.
There he was a member of the Trinity Episcopal Church, as well as a teacher and later principal at the McNab Elementary school until he retired. In Gloversville he would marry his wife Esther L. Lennon and they would live out the rest of their days.
William L. Foye, Sr., 94, of Gloversville passed away peacefully on Tuesday, January 6, 2015 at Wells Nursing Home in Johnstown, NY. He was survived by his son William L. Foye Jr. William was predeceased by his beloved wife Esther Lennon Foye; brother John Foye; sisters Margaret Robinson and Elizabeth "Susie" Bruning.
Enlistment Date 1: 1 Oct 1942 - Release Date 1: 19 Apr 1948 Rye High School Graduate, class of 1938
Sources: 1940 Census, US City Directory, Obituary, US Military Registers ,US Military Draft Cards