• Proft, Jr., William
  • College/Year: RC '50
  • Links to Oral History Sessions: Proft, Jr., William (January 12, 2009)
  • Conflict(s): World War II
  • Military Branch & Unit: Army Air Forces
  • Theater(s): Pacific

Mr. Proft was born in Newark, New Jersey and raised in West Orange.  His father owned a fund raising and mailing list business while his mother did secretarial work at the Welfare Federation in Orange, NJ.  Growing up in West Orange, William attended Valley Presbyterian Church.  He was involved with the Boy Scouts who regularly hiked the Watchung Mountains and attended summer camp in the Kittatinny Mountains.   William attended school in West Orange and graduated from Seton Hall Prep in 1943.  After graduating he signed up for the Aviation Cadet Program in Newark and was sent to Jefferson Barracks in Missouri for basic training.  From there he was transferred to San Marcos, Texas for advanced training in navigation.  He served in the Pacific Theater as a radar-bombardier and navigator for the 20th Army Air Force, 315th Bomb Wing, 331st Bomb Group, 356th Squadron performing bombing missions over Japan from July to August of 1945.  After being discharged in 1946, William attended Rutgers under the G.I. Bill, majoring in Business Administration and graduated in 1950.  He retired in 1986 from the Warner-Lambert Corporation.