In Memory of
Army Pfc.
William John Batchelor
Firesteel, South Dakota
Dewey County
January 11, 1920 – March 26, 1945
Killed in Action in Germany

William John Batchelor  William John Batchelor

William “Billy” John Batchelor was born on January 11, 1920, near Firesteel, South Dakota, to Edward and Bessie Batchelor. Although most of his schooling was in the Firesteel area, he graduated from Timber Lake High School and then mined in the Mt. St. Helens area in Washington but returned to South Dakota to work for Runkle Coal Company in Firesteel. 

William was drafted in the Army on January 22, 1943, and then was sent to boot camp at Camp Hauze, Texas, and on to Ft. Benning, Georgia, where he completed a motor course. On April of 1944 Pfc. Batchelor left for England as part of the 30th Division of the 9th Army; he saw action in France, Holland, and Belgium as an ammunition bearer. 

Pfc. William J. Batchelor was killed in action in Germany on March 26, 1945. “He had just returned from a mine laying expedition and was sitting on the fender of a truck cleaning his pistol...he was mortally wounded by shrapnel from enemy artillery.”

William Batchelor was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart. He is survived by a sister, Barbara Schneider, who was only 13 when William was killed. His other three siblings, Jean, Ruby, and Lee have all passed away.

This entry was respectfully submitted by Gina Christian, Loren Wheeler, and Anthony Swanson, 8th Grade West, Spearfish Middle School, Spearfish, South Dakota, December 5, 2000.  Information for this entry was provided by Barbara Schneider, San Carlos, California, sister of William Batchelor.