William L. Cook
Biography: William Lewis Cook was born on July 30, 1920, in Palmer, Texas, which is in Ellis County. He is the son of Samuel Nathan Cook and Beulah Belcher and attended local schools in the Palmer area. William married the former Lois N. Quails in November of 1940. Lois was born in Talihina, Oklahoma, and was the daughter of Guy Quails and Bertha Woods.
Service Time: William entered the service and was assigned to Company C of the 704th Tank Destroyer Battalion. After being stationed at the California-Nevada Desert Training Center, they moved to Camp Maxey, Texas, and then shipped to the United Kingdom, arriving in April of 1944. The 704th was the first unit to receive the new M18 Tank Destroyer and used them, in late July, while participating in the Cobra Breakout before advancing into Brittany.
The unit moved east across France, passing north of Orleans, and crossing the Moselle River to Luneville in early September. It was while in Arracourt that William drove over a mine and was wounded. He was evacuated to a field hospital and spent additional time in other hospitals in Europe before being sent back to the U.S. and more hospitalization. After completing treatment for his injuries, he was eventually discharged at the rank of Private First Class. He received a Purple Heart and other awards for his service.
William went back to school after the war and received his GED in 1945. He attended Barber College but his true calling was music. William played the bass and was a life-long musician, playing in many local clubs and hotels in Las Vegas. He and Lois had two children, Lewis, born in 1943, and Nancy in 1947. William retired at age 85 and eventually moved to a farm in Texas. He is a member of the Dallas Musicians Union and the Disabled American Veterans organization.
I want to thank William for his service and wish him long life and happiness. I want to thank his daughter, Nancy, for providing the information and materials used in this tribute.