This month we honor military veteran Staff Sergeant Bill McBay. Bill was born in Florence, Alabama and drafted into the Army in June 1951. He commented, “I was on the two years and out plan.” Bill had 16 weeks of rigorous boot camp at Fort Riley. He was selected to attend 8 weeks of leadership training and graduated with Corporal stripes after finishing basic training. Bill finally settled in Tokyo, Japan after a short stay in Korea. He worked at the General Hospital in the medical records division.
His hospital duty included helping the wounded detail, an experience that made him more aware of the horrors of war. Bill played minor league Class D baseball for the Hopkinsville Hoppers as a rare left handed pitcher. He had a natural curve and pitched to future major leaguers such as Del Crandall-Atlanta Braves and Carl Sowatski- Chicago Cubs. Bill said, “I pitched to Carl the first time and struck him out! The second at-bat Carl hit a home run off of my change-up!” Bill’s previous baseball experience gave him the opportunity to play for the Armed Services team in Japan. He would frequently travel and enjoyed hiking beautiful Mt. Fuji.
Bill attributes much of his career success to his military experience. His unit commander Kevin McCarthy was helpful in developing his administrative skills which Bill later used in valuable life experiences. After the service he worked two years for Mobil Gas & Oil Company in the accounting department. Bill is grateful to the GI bill that enabled him to get an education and graduate with a teaching degree. Bill’s career included: being a Teacher, Assistant High School Principal, Principal and eventually Superintendent for West Grant in Beloit, Wisconsin. Bill thank you for your service to our country and for your active involvement in the Springs’ community. Carry on!….
Interviewed by T.S.M.