Niobrara County Library - Cpl. William D. McKibben (April 13, 1920 - November 20, 1943)

Cpl. William D. McKibben (April 13, 1920 - November 20, 1943)

The Lusk Herald
January 20, 1944

Bill McKibben Died of Battle Wounds

Cpl. William D. McKibben of Lance Creek, formerly of Midwest, died recently of wounds received in action, it was officially announced Saturday by the Navy Department. The parents, Mr. and Mrs. Douglas McKibben, of Powell, previously had been notified.

Corporal McKibben was serving in the United States Marine Corps and his death was disclosed by Lt. Gen. A. A. Vandergrift, marine commandant, who noted that the marine had died of wounds received in action in the performance of his duties and the service of his country. The young man was serving in the South Pacific theatre of war.

Corporal McKibben was born in the Lance Creek oil field, April 13, 1920. He received his schooling at Manville and Midwest. He spent 13 years at Midwest, and the family later moved to Manville. While in high school he was outstanding in athletics.

He joined the Marines in Casper in June 1941, taking his early training at San Diego, and seeing service of four months on Gaudalcanal and nine months on Samoa Island. He went to New Zealand to be hospitalized for malaria, spending last summer and fall there. He was married to Peggy Parker last August at Wellington, New Zealand. Three months after the wedding he went back to active combat service.

During the two and one half years of Marine service of Corporal McKibben, his parents transferred the family home to Powell, where the father has been active as a building contractor in the Elk Basin oil field. Corporal McKibben also is survived by a brother, Pfc. James E. McKibben, in training with the Marines in San Diego, and a sister, Betty, who is attending high school at Powell.

Editor's note: William served as a Corporal, Company H, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, U.S. Marine Corps during World War II. William "Died Of Wounds" received in action in Tarawa during the war.

He was awarded the Purple Heart and was buried at sea.

Buddy Writes to McKibben's Parents
The Lusk Herald, February 3, 1944

The following letter was recently received by Mr. and Mrs. McKibben of Lance Creek, as a tribute to their son Bill, who is listed among those who gave their lives in the battle of the South Pacific.

Dear Mr. and Mrs McKibben:

I really don't know how to start this letter. I've never written one quite like this. I do hope it finds you both well. I'll start by telling you who I am. My name Is William D. Hoyt, Jr., and my home is at Hudson, Wyoming. I am serving with the United States Marines in the Pacific. I met your son Bill in November, 1941, while doing duty at Camp Eliot. Since then I've seen him nearly every day. I could say that I express my deepest sympathy, but I won't because I think you will understand how I feel, for we were just like brothers. That is why I am writing you this letter. Bill was known by all for his fine quality and character and was liked by all who knew him. He was always cheerful and happy and I never knew of him being depressed at any time. Since the battle of Tarawa, the censorship is not quite so strict and we can tell of some of the places we've been. We served on American Samoa for some time. We were in Guadalcanal and saw some of the toughest fighting there. We were in New Zealand, where Bill was married. We were on Tarawa together.

I know this letter will come as a surprise to you, but I know you haven't seen Bill in two years and I thought it would be nice to let you know that Bill was one in a million, and when he left this world he left it a better place for his having lived in it.

Respectfully yours,


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