HALTERMAN, WILLIAM HENRY, First Lieutenant, # 0-672023, USAAF


William H. Halterman was born on 16 April 1919 in Upshur, West Virginia to Arthur Randolph Halterman (1881-1966) and Ona Ella (Crites) Halterman (1887-1993) (married in 1905 in Upshur, W.VA.). Siblings included Thelva Virginia (Halterman) Nichols (1907-1972), Retha Maude (Halterman) Barrickman (1908-1999), Geneva L. (Halterman) Fosnaugh (1910-1985), Charles Crites Halterman (1912-1972), Clifford Lawrence Halterman (1915-1970), and Robert Arthur Halterman (1917-2009), James Jacob Halterman (1920-1955).


He enlisted while living in Bexar County, Texas, at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, on 25 January 1941. On 6 June 1944, from the 10th Air Force airfield at Kurmitola, India, a B-25H, # 43-4204, 341st Bomb Group, 490th Bomb Squadron, departed on an ammunition ferrying mission to the airfield at Chittagong, Burma, via Saichar. The weather was bad and visibility poor. At map coordinates RK212795, the completely wrecked remains of a B-25 was found on the sheer side of a mountain, about 100 feet from the summit. A local Indian Army unit reported that the aircraft crashed into the mountainside, then obscured by clouds, at about 1100 hours local on 6 June. The crew consisted of one lieutenant and at least two sergeants, all of whom were killed, and were buried by a Ghurka patrol on 11 June. The following was given to the crash investigator: 1 burned leather flying jacket with Chinese writing on the left breats, 1 leather wallet holding 1 Rupee note, a plain Gold ring, a latchkey, a Signet rings ornamented with a skull, crest, and wings, a St. Christopher medallion with “I am Catholic, if injured notify a Priest,” inscribed. Two coupon books for a club named “Raider’s Roost.” Two identity disks inscribed with the name “Frederick R. Phelps, 13049345, T.43-44B.” His remains were temporarily buried in India then were recovered and sent home. His remains were buried in the Heavner Cemetery, Buckhannon, West Virginia, in 1950. He was awarded the Bronze Star for Valor, the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Purple Heart.


His brother, Charles C. Halterman, born 20 September 1912, served in the U.S. Army from 11 Sept. 1943 to 24 July 1945 (enlisted at Fort Benjamin Harrison, Indiana on 21 August 1943).


His brother, James J. Halterman, born 20 December 1920, (# 15016372; re-enlistment 15016372) from 11 September 1943 (enlisted at Fort Benjamin Harrison, Indiana 7 January 1941) to 24 July 1945. He was on active duty and killed by fire on maneuvers, a Specialist 3rd Class, on 11 December 1955, while taking part in Operation Sage Brush.” He re-enlisted in the U.S. Army at the rank of Sergeant in Ashford General Hospital on 1 February 1946. He was buried in the Heavner Cemetery, Buckhannon, W.VA. [Enlisted 7 Jan. 1941 to 31 Jan. 1946; re-enlisted 1 Feb. 1946 to 21 Aug. 1947; re-enlisted 11 Sep. 1947 to 15 Dec. 1949; re-enlisted 16 Dec. 1949 to 4 Nov. 1954; last discharge a general under honorable conditions (needs of the service). WW II service was with Headquarters Co., XVIII Armored Corps (Infantry). As a Private First Class, ssigned to the 17th Ordinance Co. (Armored), Provisional Tank Group, he helped defend Luzon and then Bataan until its surrender and he was a POW of the Japanese. He was a POW in the death march from Bataan. After being packed amongst 100 POWs in a railroad boxcar, he survived and walked the last 10 miles to Camp O’Donnell and was held at Cabantuan as well. He was sent on a “Hell Ship” to enemy-held Taiwan and liberated after the Japanese surrender. (citation – The Life of a POW Under the Japanese in Caricature by Malcolm Fortier.