Bill McGinnis was just 19 years old when he joined the Navy in 1944. He became a fitter on board the U.S. Hinsdale and his WWII career saw some of the fiercest combat the war had to offer. Bill’s ship was hit by a kamikaze plane carrying several bombs but, following repairs in New Jersey, was able to make its way to the Pacific where Bill and fellow crewmates served as a support ship in the February 1945 battle for Iwo Jima. The Hinsdale anchored at a safe distance from shore to unload valuable cargo and take on wounded soldiers. Bill himself took part in rescuing three wounded soldiers from the beach of Iwo Jima risking enemy fire and a sinking transport vessel to get the men to safety. Bill also served his country in the Korean War and was recognized on one of Missouri’s recent veteran Honor Flights.