North High School Wall of Honor
Bill Herman Koenig
Class of January, 1944
Research done by Claradell Shedd, Class of 1953.
Bill Herman Koenig
In 1943 while a junior at North High, Bill wanted to join the service. He went to the local Navy recruiting station where they told him he would have to be tested. They put him on a bus to Kansas City, the site selected for the testing. Bill passed. The recruiting people told him, "Okay, now we want you to go back and graduate from high school." Bill responded with graduating from North High in the January, 1944 class. Following North High graduation, he once again approach the Navy which directed that Bill would attend St. Ambrose in Davenport, IA, where he was in the US Navy Flight Training Program. From that stint, they sent him to the Great Lakes Naval Training Center, IL. At the time of his Navy enlistment, his next of kin was listed as William Koenig, 1414 Goddard Court, Des Moines, IA.
From the Great Lakes Naval Training Program, Bill was sent to San Diego and assigned to the USS Rogers - Hull 876. In charge was Commander Clair B. Smiley (March 1945-August 1946). During Bill's tenure aboard the Rogers, the command changed then to Commander Robert B. Hellig (August 1946-October 1947) and Commander George L. Conkey (October 1947-December 1949). During this time, the USS Rogers as a DDR (Destroyer/Radar) was in service in the Pacific Theater.
From the USS Rogers, Bill was transferred to a converted minesweeper, Patrol Craft Escort ( USS PCE-884) to cover areas to include Guam, the Philippines, Pearl Harbor, etc. Bill still wanted to fly. From his Pearl Harbor duty, in the summer of 1948, he received orders to finally "fly"; he was headed to the Pensacola Naval Air Station (Forrest Sherman Field). He received his wings in January, 1950, flying F4U4 Corsairs. From Pensacola, Bill was given orders back to the 32nd Squadron at Quonset Point, RI.
PCE-884; Pensacola Patch
USS Leyte; Hull 32; with F9Fs USS Leyte crewman swimming; Augusta, Sicily; May, 1950
From Pensacola, Bill was given orders back to the 32nd Squadron at Quonset Point, RI. From that location he was deployed to an air group aboard the Leyte, Hull 32. In May, 1950, the Leyte was deployed to the Mediterrean until August, when it received orders for Pacific Theater deployment. Bill, aboard the Leyte, returned back to Norfolk where the Leyte picked up more armament, aircraft, and pilots for a trip through the Panama Canal on to Korean duty. At this time, Bill was in Group VF32 flying F4U4 Corsairs. He was in Air group CV32, an F7F Squadron as they proceeded on to Wansan Bay, Korea (August, 1950).
In February, 1951, Bill was back at Quonset Point, RI to which he and his Air Group 3 eventually were relocated to a reactivated WWII base in Sanford, FL.

When it came time for his retirement in 1969, he chose Virginia Beach, VA where he presently resides.
  awaiting photo from Bill Koenig
Bill in flying gear or during service
(1) The World War II Army Enlistment Records contain information on more than nine million indivdual enlistments. These records can be found online at

(1) The comprehensive list of names from North High's 1893-2018 graduation classes are from Claradell Shedd's North Des Moines High School website. The names of all North High School graduates can be found online at William Herman Koenig's 1944 class page can be vieed at
12/19/09: Living in Virginia Beach, VA.
Music: "Anchors Aweigh"
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