W4SKF - December 23, 2012

W4SKF - William P. Mueller
William P. Mueller - Rio Rico, AZ - QCWA #19112
This picture was taken a few years ago during a Pearl Harbor Memorial service.

My Dad, William Phillip Mueller is a member of the Quarter Century Wireless Association.

My Dad served in the U.S. Army, 19th Infantry, 24th Infantry Division, Company D.

Dad was stationed at Schofield Barracks on the island of Oahu, and was at Pearl Harbor when the attack began on the morning of December 07, 1941.

He was scheduled to complete his tour of duty in just a few days.

His life would be forever changed, as after the attack he went to Australia for jungle warfare training and on to New Guinea where he remained in constant combat for several years, crossing the entire island of New Guinea.

My Dad wanted to remain in combat along with his Brothers in Arms, but under threat of Court Martial, was ordered to return home against his wishes due to severe combat wounds, Malaria, Dysentery, Dengue fever, and jungle rot.

My Dad is a highly decorated United States of America Combat Veteran who was awarded the Bronze Star, Purple Heart and other Campaign Citations.

My Dad passed away on December 23, 2012.

Dad's remains will be interred at Pearl Harbor, Honolulu, Hawaii.

Thank you for helping us to remember and honor one of our Nation's Heroes, my Dad.

Respectfully,
Pete Mueller


Snap Shot of a Hero

William Phillip Mueller
06.09.1921 - 12.23.2012

William Phillip Mueller (Bill), 91, of Rio Rico, Arizona, passed away on

December 23, 2012, while residing in a nursing home for over a year following a stroke he suffered due to complications from surgery.

Bill was born in Bad Kreuznach, Germany, on June 9, 1921. Bill was a sponsored immigrant, sailing to the United States with his Father and Mother in 1924 when he was approximately three years of age. The Müllers were sponsored by Bill's maternal great Uncle and Aunt Karn. Bill and his parents entered the United States of America through the Port of New York at Ellis Island "the Gateway to America". In a letter written in 1984 Bill stated, "back in those days you had to have a sponsor to get into the U.S.A., now all you need is a leaky boat!"

Little did Bill know that in less than twenty short years, he would more than earn his right as a United States citizen and then some...

Bill enlisted in the United States Armed Forces on October 6, 1939, in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. Sailing aboard the army troop ship "Republic" via the Panama Canal to San Francisco, California, Bill arrived on the island of Oahu, Hawaii on December 13, 1939, where he was stationed at Schofield Barracks.

Bill served in the U.S. Army, 19th Infantry, 24th Infantry Division, Company D, and was scheduled to return to the States on or about December 13, 1941.

December 7, 1941, the Imperial Japanese forces attacked Pearl Harbor, Oahu, Hawaii. Bill was actually at Pearl Harbor preparing for his final check out fight in order to get his private pilot's license when the attack began.

Bill's life would be forever changed.

Bill witnessed his flight instructor get strafed by machine gun fire from the Japanese fighter planes "Zeros" as he attempted to start their plane's engine. Bill's flight instructor was killed.

Following the attack on Pearl Harbor, Bill volunteered for special task forces "never learn" he stated, and was soon sent to Canton Island for six months of intensive combat training. In May 1943, Bill rejoined the 19th Infantry, 24th Infantry Division at Schofield Barracks to sail to Rockhampton, Australia for jungle warfare training, then onto Papua New Guinea where Bill remained in constant combat for over a year fighting in what Bill referred to as a "hell hole". Bill's combat missions included many areas of Papua New Guinea and into Hollandia Netherlands New Guinea.

Bill wanted to remain in combat along with his Brothers in Arms, but under threat of Court Martial was ordered to return home against his wishes due to severe combat wounds, Malaria, Dysentery, Dengue fever, and jungle rot.

Bill sailed out of Milne Bay, Papua New Guinea on his birthday June 9, 1944, arriving in San Francisco, California on July 1, 1944.

Bill served a year of cadre duty at Camp Croft, South Carolina and was given an honorable discharge on June 15, 1945 at Fort Devens, Massachusetts. Bill's many commendations include the Combat Infantryman Badge, American Defense Service Medal, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Good Conduct Medal G0 70 ASF WDPC 45, Asiatic Pacific Theater Campaign Ribbon, American Campaign Medal, Pearl Harbor Commemorative Medal and other campaign citations. Bill was a proud U.S. Army veteran soldier of the 24th Infantry Division who was the first to see combat in World War II. The 24th Infantry Division is fiercely proud of their heritage as the "First to Fight" in defense of freedom!

While serving with the Army in South Carolina, Bill met the love of his life, "Jean Marler" in Spartanburg, South Carolina and they soon married.

Bill was a member of the 24th Infantry Division Association, Pearl Harbor Survivors Association, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled Veterans, Freemasons, Scottish Rite, Shriners, American Numismatic Association, Moose Lodge and Quarter Century Wireless Association. Bill became an amateur "Ham" radio operator shortly after returning from World War II.

Bill retired from the U.S. Post Office after approximately 30 years of work as a Letter Carrier and began pursuing his passion as a Numismatic.

Bill loved country music, his beer cold, flirting with the ladies, traveling, photography, prospecting, riding motorcycles and spending time in his "Ham Shack". Bill rode his custom made Gold Wing Trike until he suffered a stroke in 2011.

In his later years, Bill especially enjoyed the company of his daughter Lisa and her husband Randy, purchasing the house next door to them in Rio Rico, Arizona.

Bill was preceded in death by his wife/our Mom, Hazel "Jean" Jeanette Mueller, who passed away on October 13, 1975; daughter in law, Lynn Marie Mueller who passed away on May 30, 1975 and sister Delores "Penny" Edery.

Bill is survived by his three children and their spouses; son Michael (Faye), daughter Lisa Langham (Randy), and son Peter (Michele), and other Mueller relatives and descendants.

We wish to thank the staff at Canyon Valley Senior Residence in Green Valley, Arizona for the compassionate care, comfort and companionship they provided to our Dad.

We are more than proud of our Dad and his Brothers in Arms for fighting to keep our great nation, the United States of America free!

Per Dad's wishes made many years ago, and by decree of the United States of America Department of Defense and Department of the Navy, Dad will return to the waters of Pearl Harbor, Honolulu, Hawaii with full military honors to forever remain with his fallen Brothers in Arms.

Thank you for helping us to remember and honor one of our Nation's Heroes, my Dad.

In Loving Memory,

Peter Mueller