On April 9th 2022, Colonel William E. Weber, 96, joined his fellow Rakkasans of the 187th Airborne Regimental Combat Team. He passed away peacefully at home in New Windsor after a brief illness while in the care and company of his family and friends.
Born in Chicago on November 10, 1925 to Joe and Rosina (née Schaden) Weber, Bill was a soldier’s soldier. He enlisted in the Army at 17 and was commissioned as an Infantry Officer in 1945. Bill had a long and distinguished career as a paratrooper and a member of the 11th Airborne Division and 82nd Airborne Division. During his service, he served as the executive officer of L Company, 187th Airborne Regimental Combat Team and later commanding officer of K Company, 3rd Battalion, ARCT. He took part in the Allied occupation of Japan during World War II and saw significant combat during the Korean War. In February 1951, he was severely wounded and lost both his right arm and right leg. Despite these injuries, Bill remained on active duty, being one of the first such disabled officers on active duty since the Civil War. He served both with NATO in Europe and at the Pentagon. In 1980, after 37 years of service, Bill retired at the rank of Colonel.
His awards and decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal, Silver Star, Legion of Merit with Oak Leaf Cluster, Bronze Star with V, Purple Heart with two Oak Leaf Clusters, Army Commendation Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, and the Combat Infantryman Badge. He also attended the Armed Forces Staff College and Army War College.
Bill was appointed by President Reagan as a member of the Korean War Veterans Memorial Advisory Board. He and his fellow board members passionately advocated for the construction of a memorial to remind all those who visited it that Freedom Is Not Free. The memorial itself was dedicated in 1995 by President Clinton and, in 2016, President Obama approved legislation for the additional construction of a Wall of Remembrance to the Korean War Veterans Memorial. Bill wanted to ensure that visitors to the national memorial would learn of the sacrifice of over 36,000 Americans and over 7,200 Koreans, who served as Korean Augmentation to the U.S. Army (KATUSAs) and died to save the Republic of South Korea from the terror of communism. The wall’s final stone was laid in place on Saturday, the day of Bill’s passing. His greatest regret was that North and South Korea remain divided.
Even missing his arm and leg, nothing stopped Bill from skiing, sailing, swimming, and horseback riding long into his life. He loved spending time on his farm with his rescue Great Danes and playing bridge with his family. His intellectual curiosity knew no bounds, as he pursued two masters degrees from Hood College and University of Maryland.
Bill is survived by his wife of 48 years, Annelie, his daughter-in-law, Beth Chambers Weber, his granddaughter, Dayne Weber (Cameron McKee). His two children, Mark Weber and Karen Stanley and grandson David Martin precede him in death. The family wants to thank everyone who has helped Bill throughout his incredible life. Special thanks go out to Janell Halsey of Thrive USA for her help in recent years. In lieu of flowers, please consider supporting The Korean War Veterans Memorial Foundation: www.koreanwarvetsmemorial.org.
Visitations will take place on Thursday, April 21 2-4pm and 6-8pm as well as on Friday, April 22 12-2pm at Resthaven Funeral Home (9501 Catoctin Mountain Hwy, Frederick, MD 21701). Service will be held at Resthaven and on livestream on April 22, 2pm. Arrangements provided by Hartzler Funeral Home.
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Korean War Veterans Memorial Foundation