William “Bill” Zartman was born in Shamokin, Pennsylvania in 1925. He was raised Lutheran. After high school, he became a salesman for Proctor and Gamble.
At 17 years old, Bill decided to enlist in the army. He chose to be an army ranger and after enduring grueling training, Bill went to Europe. Bill was captured in a battle and spent a year in one of the most brutal Nazi internment camps. He escaped when on an evacuation march with a British POW.
Bill never encountered concentration camps, however before the war he saw reports about the Germans rounding up the Jews. Bill was actually transported to his internment camp in a cattle car.
Bill received The Purple Heart, WWII Victory Medal, and several other honors for his bravery during the war.
Bill modestly stated about his accomplishment, “You don’t have time to be scared when it is happening, you don’t think about it, it is a job to do, it’s a challenge.”