This website is dedicated to my father,
William Heller 1910-1972.
By direction of the President, under the
provisions of Army Regulations 600-45, as amended, you are awarded a Bronze Star Medal for
meritorious services in connection with military operations against an enemy of the United
Fourth Grade WILLIAM HELLER, 36 682 818, Signal Corps, Third Signal Company. from 15
August 1944 to 8 May 1945 in France, Germany, and Austria. Technician Heller and a
comrade, a Photographic Team assigned to the Division Photographic Section, with great
devotion to duty and often at great personal risk, photographed all combat operations of
the Division, from the beaches of Southern France to the final operations of the Division
in Germany and Austria, thus providing the Division with a complete authentic pictorial
record of its campaign.
Bill, born and raised in Chicago, operated a portrait studio on the south side of Chicago
for more than forty years. Married to Sylvia with one son (me - my brother Jerry came
along after the war), Bill entered World War 2 when he was 33 years old.
He could have received a deferment, but like most of his generation, Bill offered his
services to a grateful country.
As a first generation American, his sense of duty was never in question. Mom always kidded
him, that he had to do his John Wayne duty.
captions on this website, were from my father's handwritten notes on the back of the
photos. Other information came from my conversations with him, and other World War II
veterans of the
3rd Infantry Division, US Army.
A special thank you to Ed Heller, my son,
and Martin Spirit, my dear friend,
whose special artistic talents made many of the graphics on these pages possible.
pictures have been part of an album that Mom and Dad put together in the 1950's. They
showed our family and friends the horror of the war in Europe. Also note, there are
at this time more than 200 photos on these pages, so be patient while they load.
After basic training at Camp
Croft, near Spartanburg, South Carolina, Bill shipped out to North Africa. Naturally, in
the US Army's typical modus operandi, Bill started out in the
infantry as a rifleman, instead
of his specialty, photography. He fought in the invasions and
occupations of North Africa, Sicily, and Italy.
The Army finally came to it's senses and assigned him
to the Signal Corps permanently in June of 1944 .
Photographing the 3rd Infantry Division's march through Sicily,
Italy, Southern France and finally Germany, Bill was awarded the Bronze Star for his
bravery under fire.
a lot of pages, with more than 200 photos on this site.
Each page loads in approximately
4.2 seconds on ISDN or DSL, 1-4.5 minutes at 56k, 2-9 minutes at 28k, several days at 14k.
If your modem speed is below 14k, this website may not load the graphics on this site
until the next millennium.
best results on AOL, turn off the compressed graphics on "My AOL"
Internet Properties Preferences. However if your modem is less than 28.8k, come
back when you have something faster, or you will be very frustrated waiting for the images