William Leonard Jolitz was born 1917? in Duluth Minnesota. His father, Frederick William Jolitz, was
a local businessman with many different businesses, among them his concrete block manufacturing plant (left: father and son).
They lived in West Duluth, near the shores of Lake Superior along with his sisters.
He attended Denfeld High,
went to the local junior college. He was a local sports figure in
skiing, ice hockey, and football, rising to the level of winning
quarterback in junior college. He entered the U.S. Army.
He served in World War II, primarily as a medical corpsman, but also took
part in the debriefing of captured enemy soldiers as a translator.
He was part of various Allied actions, including the "Battle of the Bulge"
in Belgium. He never spoke much about the war to family and friends, but
it made a life long impact on him.
World War II was very personal and involved many friendships. Here is a William and his friend from Duluth (and Denfeld),
On running into William in England: "During World War II I was an x-ray technician at the 192nd General Hospital located in Cirencester, England. One day while I was acting as the "receptionist," I looked up and there was Bill, coming in for x-ray work. What a surprise!"
On having the film for photography: "One of the x-ray technicians, Harry Poppick, had a brother who was responsible to take the film out of the gun cameras from the fighter pilots on their return from a mission. If they had not used much film, he would leave the remainder in the cameras, but if they'd used quite a bit of film, but there was not enough left to use on the next mission, he would take out the remainder of the film and give it to his brother in our hospital, about 4 miles from the airport. As a result, I had a tremendous amount of black and white 35mm film."
Following the war, he used the G.I. bill to attend the University of Minnesota
in Minneapolis to obtain a Bachelors Degree in Chemical Engineering.