June 22, 2012

In Memoriam: Bill Disbrow


Major Bill L. Disbrow, USAF Retired, passed away peacefully on June 8, 2012, in Wildomar. He was born on September 23, 1915 in Oakland, California, and was 96 years old when he left this earthly life.

Bill was a resident of Canyon Lake before moving to Wildomar. He was featured in The Friday Flyer when he was in his late 80's for being a champion downhill snow skier. He was also featured on the front page of The Friday Flyer featuring the Veterans Memorial Dedication Ceremony in November 2011.

Bill had his first airplane ride in a Jenny as a young boy and decided flying was his passion. He joined the Army Air Corp in 1943 and was flying B24s with the 15th Air Force in World War II, completing 50 missions. He survived seven missions to the Ploesti Oil Fields in Romania, the graveyard of the 15th Air Force. He also flew in the Korean War, and after was a test pilot and squadron commander.

Bill retired after more than 21 years of active duty. He was an investigator. He also was a high school mechanics teacher, creating the first high school aeronautics program for the Los Angeles School District. Bill loved ballroom dancing. He wrote his autobiography titled, "On the Edge." He was an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Canyon Lake Ward.

Bill is survived by his four daughters: Sherry Peterson (Brandt), Pati Kent (Art), Karen Williamson (Paul) of Huntington Beach and Gale Bjelland (Richard) of Canyon Lake, 10 grandchildren, and 17 great-grandchildren. He loved his family. He was interred at the Riverside National Cemetery with full military honors on June 18.