Freedom Fighters: Bill Pate

By Joan Hallmark

Bill Pate was only sixteen when he joined the Marines in 1943 with two of his best friends. By the time he was seventeen, Pate was fighting aboard the aircraft carrier the U.S.S. San Jacinto in the South Pacific From Leyte to Iwo to Okinowa, Pate was part of some of the biggest battles of World War Two. The two friends who had joined with him were both killed in the war.

As terrible as the war was, it had whetted Pate's desire to pilot planes and by 1950 he was flying Sky Raiders in Korea. After two tours of duty in Korea, Pate returned home to civilian life with a chest full of medals attesting to his courage.