Bill Deaderick

Jefferson City’s Bill Deaderick holds a tattered photograph of himself and other trainees at Anniston, Alabama’s now repurposed Fort McClelland. Of the 175 or so assembled for the picture, he said 11 made it back from their service in the European Theater of World War II. – MARK BROWN | THE STANDARD BANNER

Some boys lied their way into WW II service. Bill Deaderick memorized his way in.

Old enough to volunteer but deemed visually unfit to serve, the 19-year-old, who had already been turned away from the Marines, studied the eye chart. He knew by heart that he wanted to serve his country so he learned the lines of the optometrist’s chart that same way – by heart.

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