WWII Veteran Is Also The Only Living Son Of A Civil War Soldier

Serving in the military is a family tradition for William Pool.

The 99-year-old veteran fought at the Battle of the Bulge in 1944, while his father fought for the Union Army during the Civil War in the 1860s.

Yes, that’s not a typo. Pool is the only living son of a Civil War soldier, according to KYTV, an NBC affiliate in Springfield, Missouri.

In honor of Flag Day, KYTV did a deep dive on Pool’s unusual family heritage, speaking with Pool, his daughters, Carolyn George and Jeanie Price, and author Tim Pletkovich about it.

Citing Pletkovich’s book, “Civil War Fathers: Sons of the Civil War in WWII,” which includes a chapter on the Pool family, KYTV explained how Pool’s father, Charles Pool, fought for the Union with the Sixth West Virginia Volunteers during the Civil War and received a pension for his service.

Afterward, he married a woman named Clara, and they had William Pool in 1925.

Although Charles Pool died when his son was just seven, William Pool had vivid memories of watching his father hunt squirrels despite missing a leg as a result of a war injury.

“If he wanted to hunt, he walked on crutches,” he told KYTV. “If he got a squirrel, he put it down in the crosses of his crutches.”

As for William Pool’s mother, she died at the age of 102 in 1990. She was Missouri’s last Civil War widow to draw Union benefits.

Later this year, William Pool, who turns 100 in January 2025, will celebrate the 80th anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge, a grueling event that helped the Allied forces beat Nazi Germany.

While speaking with KYTV, William Pool recalled rescuing an injured soldier and becoming a prisoner of war after getting caught in a trap as he returned to an area he thought was secure.

“There was a big bomb crater outside that place, and [they] put us in that,” he said.

Fortunately, the German soldiers who caught William Pool and his comrades didn’t shoot them, which he noted was “unusual” but “figured that was a miracle.”