Bill Metzger was born in 1941 in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin in June 1964, and was commissioned an Ensign in the U.S. Navy in October 1964. LT Metzger then completed flight training and was designated a Naval Aviator in April 1966 before joining VF-124 at NAS Miramar, California, where he was trained in the F-8 Crusader from May to September 1966. He then served with VF-24 and began flying combat missions in Southeast Asia in February 1967 aboard the aircraft carrier USS Bon Homme Richard (CVA-31). On May 19, 1967, LT Metzger was forced to eject over North Vietnam and was taken as a Prisoner of War. After spending 2,116 days in captivity, he was released during Operation Homecoming on March 4, 1973, and then was briefly hospitalized to recover from his injuries. He next attended the Naval Postgraduate School at Monterey, California, where he completed his Master's degree in September 1976. He then completed F-4 Phantom II upgrade training before serving with VF-21 from January 1977 to January 1979, followed by a tour at the Pentagon from January 1979 to May 1982. Capt Metzger then commanded the Naval Recruiting District in the Pacific Northwest at Seattle, Washington, from May 1982 to August 1985. His final assignment was as the Comptroller of the Naval Shipyard at Puget Sound, Washington, where he served from August 1985 until his retirement from the Navy on August 31, 1990. Bill and his wife Bonnie have three daughters.
His Silver Star Citation reads:
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity while interned as a Prisoner of War in North Vietnam from May to August 1967. His captors, completely ignoring international agreements, subjected him to extreme mental and physical cruelties in an attempt to obtain military information and false confessions for propaganda purposes. Through his resistance to those brutalities, he contributed significantly toward the eventual abandonment of harsh treatment by the North Vietnamese, which was attracting international attention. By his determination, courage, resourcefulness, and devotion to duty, he reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Naval Service and the United States Armed Forces.