Bill Preddy was born on July 20, 1924, in Greensboro, North Carolina. He enlisted in the Aviation Cadet Program of the U.S. Army Air Forces on February 26, 1943, and was commissioned a 2d Lt and awarded his pilot wings at Moore Field, Texas, on May 23, 1944. After completing P-40 Warhawk and P-51 Mustang training, Lt Preddy was assigned to the 503rd Fighter Squadron of the 339th Fighter Group in Europe in January 1945. He was credited with destroying 1 enemy aircraft in aerial combat plus 1 probable before being shot down by ground fire on April 17, 1945. Preddy was taken to a local hospital where he died on April 18, 1945. Bill Preddy is buried next to his brother George at the Lorraine American Cemetery in St. Avold, France.
Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds - and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of - wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up the long delirious, burning blue,
I've topped the windswept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or even eagle flew -
And, while with silent lifting mind I've trod
The high untresspassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand and touched the face of God.