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Branch: Army
Theatre: World War II

William F.X. McConnell entered the Army shortly after Pearl Harbor. In 1944, his 168th Engineer Combat Battalion was among the units assigned to stop the Germans at the Battle of the Bulge. Following the legendary fighting at the Bulge, the 168th was sent to Germany to attack enemy positions along the Rhine River. During repeated unsuccessful attempts to paddle across the swiftly flowing river in assault boats, McConnell was wounded three times. At one point, he gave his lifebelt to a fellow soldier even though McConnell himself did not know how to swim.

Honor A Veteran

Selections are only based on the nominee's military service
Nominees do not have to be alumni or associated with the university in any way. Each year, the committee selects eleven honorees based on noteworthy honor, courage, commitment, and sacrifice during their military service to our nation, but decorations for valor are not required. Selections are only based on the nominee's military service.