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AMS2 William Pete Bletsch

William Pete Bletsch (Billy) was the eldest son of James and Florence Bletsch.

He had one sister (me) and three brothers.

He had been in the service for three years.

He was first stationed at Lemoore, California before going to VQ-1, Atsugi, Japan.

He was 23 years old and single.

Home of record:  Boyd, Texas

November 30, 1946 - March 16, 1970

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Billy Bletsch

 

Billy Pete

Billy in Wagon
Billy as Toddler

William Pete Bletsch was the first-born of James William and Mary Florence Bletsch. He loved to take things apart and try to put them back together again. One favorite family story was that Mother had come into check on me when I was a asleep as a baby and found Billy trying climb up the baby bed with a hammer in his hand. He told her he was going to take me apart to find out how I worked!  Many a toy was not as lucky.

Billy in suit
Billy in Jacket

Billy was my older brother and I'm sure felt a conflict between wanting to protect and wanting to silence, if for just a little while, his younger - bratty - sister.

I remember so many things we did as we were growing up in the country - fishing, swimming, picking plums and mustang grapes so mother could make jellies and wild grape juice. Ooo, how that grape juice would sting the lips and mouth. I remember using old dead willow limbs to build teepees down by the stock tank and finding them destroyed the next day by the storm the night before. I remember going fishing with our new poles and Billy having to spend most of that first day's outing trying to get me untangled from the trees and "sea weed". I'm sure he wasn't too pleased with his little sister then!

I remember how he would teach me to climb trees when we were youngsters growing up in the country.  As he conquered a particular tree and tired of it, he would show me each foot and hand hold so that it then became "my tree" and he would move on to a larger more challenging tree - often times having to climb up "my tree" when it was time to go home and help me place each foot in the right space so that I could get down and we could go home.

Billy attended college for one year at the Dallas Baptist College and then joined the US Navy.

One story I remember him telling of basic training was when they were testing to see who could swim the length of the swimming pool to determine who would have to take swimming lessons. They had given every one numbers and guys were to dive in when their number was called. Billy's number was 5. However, when they called "five", a recruit by the name of Fife jumped in a swam the designated length with no trouble. Instead of marking Fife's score by his number, they just had Billy swim in his place. Billy couldn't swim very well. The result was that Fife had to take the swimming lessons!

 

Billy uniform

Billy was stationed at Lemoore Air Base in Califormia before being sent to Atsugi Air Base in Japan.