October 13, 1926 —
Branch of Service: Air Force
Unit: 465th Signal Heavy Construction Co.
Theater of Operation: Pacific
Birthplace: Lincoln County, KS
Killed in Action: No
Prisoner of War: Select One
April 24, 1945 — November 15, 1946
William Fuller Bird is the oldest of six children born to George Emerson and Georgia May (Moore) Bird in Lincoln County, Kansas on October 13, 1926. Bill grew up on the family farm and attended local schools before being drafted into the Army on 24 April 1945. Private Bird entered service at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas as an Auto Equipment Operator (Heavy Truck Driver) and Rifle Marksman. On 14 November 1945, he was discharged as a temporary private and re-enlisted at the Las Vegas Army Air Field. Bill continued to serve the United States as a Telephone and Telegraph Lineman in Nagoya, Japan until separation of service 15 November 1946 as a Technician 4th Grade with the 465th Signal Heavy Construction Company. Decorations and citations include the Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal, World War II Victory Medal, Army of Occupation Medal and Good Conduct Medal. Bill married Dorothy Johnson on May 31, 1947. They were blessed with three daughters: Betty Bird Whyte, Kay Bird Eller, and Roberta Bird Robertson. Dorothy preceded Bill in death on October 16, 1996. From 1951-1966, Bill worked in the oil fields of western Kansas. Bill and his family moved to Abilene where he drove a semi-truck for Duckwall Alco, Inc., for 20 years, retiring in 1989. On December 6, 1997, Bill married Doris Jean (Dottie) Bowley DeGraffenried. Bill's five step children are Kenny DeGraffenried, Doris Ann DeGraffenried Ward, Kathy DeGraffenried Heiser, Jeff DeGraffenried and Stacy DeGraffenried Meuli. Always good at mechanics and construction, Bill enjoys fixing things as well as hunting, fishing, boating, camping, and traveling. Bill and Dottie continue to live in Abilene, Kansas, taking an active role in their grandchildren's lives.