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William Robert Merkle

T/5 in 603rd Engineer Camouflage Bn : HQ & Service Co

Military occupational specialty: 345 (truck driver, light)


Born 1920 in OH, Died 1994

County of residence at enlistment: Erie County, OH
Other residence(s): Mill Valley, CA; Healdsburg, CA
United States Army, European Theatre of Operations
College education before the war: Cleveland Institute of Art 3 years
Notes: "Merk"
Source: 603rd Camouflage Engineer Roster provided by W. Anderson; Photograph 91-14 GALP archive; Unit Shipment 10143-B, 23d HQ, from le Havre 23 June 1945; HQ & Service Company List of Men and Jobs;

William Merkle was born on October 16, 1920 in Sandusky, OH, the oldest of two children. After graduating from high school, he went to Cleveland to study at The Cleveland School of Art (now The Cleveland Institute of Art). He completed three years there before his military service, and fell in love with a fellow art student, Gloria Elaine Morgan.

Bill filled out his draft registration on February 14, 1942, and enlisted on September 22, 1942.  A newspaper article from the time describes a furlough spent with his parents, and his return to Fort Meade in December, 1942.

After returning from Europe, he came home on a 30-day furlough and married Gloria on July 16, 1945, returning to Pine Camp early in August, before being discharged later that year with the rank of Corporal at Camp Sibert in Alabama.

Little is known of his life after that. He and Gloria moved to California at some point, living in Mill Valley and Healdsburg.

He died on July 7, 1994, in Healdsburg. Gloria was still painting and showing her work through at least 1996; she died in 2003.


1940 Census

1942 Draft Registration

1942 Enlistment Record

1942 article in The Sandusky Register (OH) about his military service

1945 Marriage Record

1945 article in The Sandusky Register (OH) re his wedding; includes bio details and references 603rd

1945 article in The Sandusky Register (OH) about his discharge from service; references 603rd

1982-1984 US Public Records Index

1994 VA Death Record

1994 Social Security Death Index

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