“Shoot for one hundred” – An American veteran who served in three wars

Colonel William “Bill” Eisenhart, 97, considers himself lucky to have lived so long. “Might as well shoot for one hundred,” he said.

Eisenhart served in the US Air Force. He was a member of the 359th Bomber Squadron. In 35 years of service, he went on almost 50 combat missions in World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War.

It was quite a change from WWII to Vietnam, he says. “But, somebody has to do it, when called upon.”

He recalls a mission in Schweinfurt, Germany, that he says “turned everything around.” They lost 60 planes and crews, which was a big loss for the 8th Air Force. Still, they recovered and put the world on notice “that the United States and the allies are gonna press on.”

Recently, Hospice Care of the Lowcountry’s “We Honor Our Veterans” program sent JROTC cadets from Bluffton High School and Marines from Air Station Beaufort to Eisenhart’s home to thank him for his service. The group all gathered for a photo showing the past, present, and future of the US military, WSAV-TV reported.

Eisenhart’s wife, Penny Eisenhart, said, “I think you’re proud of your service, aren’t you?” The entire group replied, “Absolutely.”

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE