Melbourne, FL – After growing up on the streets of Manhattan and enrolling in night school to study accounting, William “Bill” Weiger left home to fight in the Korean War, launching a legendary career as an Air Force fighter pilot. He went on to fly F-86s in Japan and Las Vegas before transitioning to the F-100, where he trained new pilots. He was one of the first pilots to bail out of a jet at supersonic speed and overcame serious injury to resume his flying career.
Bill’s heroic flying missions in Vietnam earned him the Silver Star, Distinguished Flying Cross (2), Bronze Star, and 13 Air Medals, along with the respect of his comrades across the country. He reached his highest professional goal as the commander of an F-4 squadron in Okinawa, known as “Whiskey’s Raiders” from his long-standing call sign “Whiskey.” Three songs were recorded about Whiskey Bill’s heroics and antics.
When his flying days ended at the rank of Colonel, his sense of adventure continued. He partnered with an AF buddy to become a commercial fisherman in the Gulf, fighting mother nature on weeks-long adventures at sea. When retirement kicked in, he embraced new challenges, teaching himself computer programming and learning to golf, and pursued his passions for traveling, cooking, devouring history books, and mentoring his granddaughter.
On Feb. 25, Whiskey Bill departed this world peacefully, surrounded by his wife of 62 years, three children, and one of his grandchildren. His amazing reputation as a patriot and patriarch lives on in the hearts of all those left behind.
A Celebration of Life was held on April 2nd. Memorials may be made to Family Promise of Brevard.
Published in FLORIDA TODAY on Mar. 17, 2019