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In Remembrance
Tributes to Those Who Precede Us...

In remembrance of Colonel William Lewis (Bill) Rice (USAF Retired) [age 83] left this life on Thanksgiving Morning (2002). He is survived by his beloved wife of 61 years, Hilda Vernice, and their daughter and son-in-law Patricia and John Strong, of San Antonio, Texas.

On the day after Pearl Harbor he volunteered to join the US Army; he enlisted in January1942, and later that year graduated from the Signal Corps Officer Candidate School. He served in France and Germany during WWII, including participation in the Battle of the Bulge.  He continued to serve in Germany during the period of occupation.


In 1947, Bill became one of the founding members of the United States Air Force.  His tours of duty in North Carolina, Virginia, Ohio, England, Alabama, and Maryland helped prepare him for his role as the commander of US Air Force installations in Wakkanai, Japan and Brindisi, Italy.  He then completed tours at Kelly Air Force Base and at the National Security Agency before retiring in 1972.  After retiring from the Air Force, Bill worked for nine years as a civilian employee of the Strategic Air Command and the National Security Agency.  He and Hilda moved to San Antonio in 1982.

During Bill's military career he earned numerous honors, including the Bronze Medal, the Silver Star with two Oak Leaf Clusters, the Legion of Merit, and was inducted into the United States Air Force Security Service Hall of Honor.

In remembrance of Walter E. Peik, the first principal of Wakkanai Dependent School. From the Hutchinson Leader: Walter Peik, 75 Saturday, February 14, 2004. Walter E. "Bud" Peik, 75, of Hutchinson, passed away Sunday, February 8, at the Hutchinson Community Hospital in Hutchinson. A Memorial service will be held Saturday, Feb. 21, at 11 a.m. from Bethlehem United Methodist Church in Hutchinson. A Gathering of friends will be one hour prior to services at the church. Military honors will be by the Hutchinson Memorial Rifle Squad.


MSgt (Ret) Larry Nilles passed away on Sunday, Jan 25,05 after a brave fight against lung cancer. Larry was stationed at Wakkanai in the late 60's and was a superb Elinter. He was one of my best friends in the AF and I had the pleasure of being assigned with him at Hof, Berlin Shemya, NSA and Osan AB, Korea. I hope and pray he is at peace with the Lord. Posted by Jim McDaniel


Bill Wilkinson

William "Bill"  Wilkinson, passed away on November 10, 2015. His son Bryan reported his passing and would like to hear from any WAS Alum who knew his Dad.