MCCANDLESS, WILLIAM R., Second Lieutenant, Service # 0-683037, U.S. Army Air Force
William R. McCandless was born 7 September 1920 in Davenport, Iowa to William C. McCandless (1880- ) and Lillian May (Coleman) McCandless, born in Monticello, IL (1883- ), residing at 1530 Pershig Avenue, Davenport. They were married in Davenport, Iowa, 1 Sept., 1904. The 1925 Iowa State census shows the family living in Bettendorf. The 1930 census hows the same residence. William C. McCandless was a pipe fitter for a foundry. On 7 April 1933, Mrs. Lilliam M. McCandless was granted an uncontested divorce decree based upon desertion and was given full custody of William R. McCandless and awarded her household goods and property in Bettendorf. In 1940 he and his mother lived in Bettendorf, Scott Co., Iowa. She was divorced and worked as a seamer in a clothing manufacturer. Lillian's father was James H. Coleman, her mother, Amanda Davis. She subsequently married Ira Smith.
William R. McCandless enlisted 6 February 1942 (enlisted service # 17043284) in Fort Des Moines, Iowa. He resided in Scott County, Iowa. The Daily Times, 24 Dec., 1942, printed a brief article that Lillian Smith received word that her son, Aviation Cadet William R. McCandless, arrived at the Corsicana, Texas, air field from the replacement center at Kelly Field, Texas. The Quad-City Times, 14 Dec. 1942, wrote that among the aviation cadets who completed their pre-flight course at San Antonio, include William R. McCandless, 429 Tenth St., Bettendorf, and will now enter primary flying school for training as combat pilots. The Daily Times, 29 June 1943, printed that William R. McCandless had been commission a Second Lieutenant in the U.S.A.A.F. at Aloe Field, Victoria, Texas. The Daily Times, 18 Sept. 1943 reported that 2ndLt William R. McCandless is completing training as a member of a Liberator bomber crew at the base at Pueblo, Colorado. He trained as a co-pilot. Before entering the service, he attended St. Ambrose college. The Quad-City Times, 9 Dec. 1943, reported that 2ndLt William R. McCandlesswas missing in action since Dec. 1 1943. He was a graduate of Davenport High School (class of 1938), attended St. Ambrose college and was a cheerleader for both schools. He was in radio work before enlisting.