Sen. Mike Bernskoetter’s Legislative Column for March 11, 2021

Honoring a Local Hero

At 100 years old, Bill McAnany has lived a life like few others have.

Born in St. Louis, Bill grew up during the Great Depression. There weren’t a lot of opportunities available at the time, so after high school, he decided to join the Navy. He soon found himself stationed on the hospital ship USS Solace in Hawaii, working as an X-ray technician. Now, Bill didn’t ever really intend on making a career out of serving in the military, but that all changed after Dec. 7, 1941.

As the Japanese were launching their devastating surprise attack against U.S. forces, Bill and others helped rescue and treat those harmed in the attacks. Soon afterward, Bill extended his enlistment and further deepened his involvement in World War II. He served on the Solace near the Battle of Guadalcanal. He later went on to serve on the USS Samaritan, treating troops from Guam, Saipan, Iwo Jima and Okinawa – some of the fiercest fighting of the Pacific theater. He was also stationed in Tokyo Bay when the Japanese surrendered in 1945. Even after World War II had ended, Bill continued to serve his country aboard the USS Repose and the USS Eldorado and served briefly during the Korean War. After ending his military career, Bill returned to the Midwest and sold medical X-ray equipment. Today, Bill and his wife, Linda, call Jefferson City home.

As you can only imagine, Bill has plenty of stories to tell. He enjoys sharing his life’s stories with others and ensuring that history lives on in the next generation. This past week, I had the opportunity to sit down with Bill and his wife, hear some of their stories and present him with the flag that recently flew over the State Capitol on his 100th birthday. I had a great time chatting with this local hero, and I know I speak for all of us in the Sixth Senatorial District when I say Happy birthday and thank you for your service.

As always, it is an honor to serve the 6th Senatorial District. If my office can be service to you, please feel free to contact us at (573) 751-2076. For information about my committee assignments or sponsored legislation, please visit my official Missouri Senate website at