KIEFFER, WILLIAM PETER, Second Lieutenant, # 0-721778, USAAF
William P. Kieffer was born on 10 February 1924 in Olivia, Renville Co., Minnesota, to Anton Kieffer (1867- ) (Germany – immigrated 1899 – naturalized) and Catherine (Feider) Kieffer (1880-1947) (Germany – immigrated 1899 – naturalized). Siblings included John Peter Kieffer (1900-1981), Mary Teresa [Sister Clarinda] Kieffer (1901-1991) (Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet), Raymond Nicholas Kieffer (1903-1960), Katherine (Kieffer) Friezen (1906- ), Aloysius Anthony Kieffer (1911-1982), Magdalene Agnes (Kieffer) Cuta (1913-1990), Bernard Joseph Kieffer (1915-2002), Dolores Theresa (Kieffer) Dolan (1917-1993), Helen Gertrude (Kieffer) Kramer (1917-2011), Anthony Joseph Kieffer (1918-2006), Bernadine Anne (Kieffer) Leicht (1920-1993), and Vincent Anthony Kieffer (1922-2003). A maternal uncle, Anthony Vantringen (1852- ) (widowed) (Germany – immigrated 1872 – naturalized) lived with them in 1930.
He registerd for the WW II draft and described himself as 6’, 175 lbs, with brown hair and blue eyes.
completed flight instruction and earned his commission and pilot wings. He was multi-engine rated. On 19 September 1944, a C-47A, # 43-15861, assigned to 10th Air Force, 1st Combat Cargo Group, 3rd Combat Cargo Squadron, departed the airfield at Peishiyi, China, on a secret mission to Imphal airfield, India, flying over “the Hump” of the Himalayan Mountains between Burma and China. The MACR shows departure from Tulihal, India, to Chungking, China (this is probably correct, but the crash location may be correct from the cited database). It was speculated it crashed due to bad weather. It crashed near Dongchuan, Yunnan. It was designated a battle casualty loss. After recovery from the crash site and temporary burial at a USAAF airfield, his remains were buried in the Fort Snelling National Cemetery, Minneapolis, Minnesota (Sec. C-22, Grave 12820). The family placed a memorial marker in the Saint Marys Cemetery, Bird Island, Reville Co., Minnesota.
His brother, Anthony J. Kieffer, born 1 November 1918, served in the U.S. Navy from 31 December 1941 to 28 November 1945. He died 5 April 2006 and is buried in the Holyrood Catholic Cemetery, Shoreline, King Co., Washington.
His brother, Vincent A. Kieffer, served in the U.S. Navy, F2c V-6, MM2c, # 6392132, from 29 August 1942 to 23 December 1945. He died 28 September 2003 and is buried in the Fort Snelling National Cemetery, Minneapolis, Minnesota (Sec. E, Grave 3296). He served on the U.S.S. Delta (AR-9) (1943-1945). The U.S.S. Delta (AR-9) was the lead ship of her class (Type C3) of repair ships during WW II. During 1943-45, she served at Oran, Algeria; Bizerte, Tunisia, Palermo, Italy, and Pozzuouli, Italy. She was at Yokosuka Naval Base and then repaired the Nagato, a Japanese battleship, for the atomic weapons tests of 1946 at the Bikini Atolls.