Bill Arcuri was born in 1947 in Tallahassee, Florida. He enlisted in the U.S. Air Force on June 7, 1965, and after completing basic training he attended the Air Force Academy Preparatory School. He received a congressional appointment to the U.S. Military Academy in June 1966, and he was commissioned a 2nd Lt in the U.S. Air Force upon graduation from West Point on June 3, 1970. Lt Arcuri entered Undergraduate Pilot Training in August 1970, and was awarded his pilot wings at Moody AFB, Georgia, in June 1971. Following B-52 Stratofortress Combat Crew Training, his first assignment was as a B-52 copilot with the 744th Bomb Squadron of the 456th Bomb Wing at Beale AFB, California, from January 1972 until he was forced to eject over North Vietnam and was taken as a Prisoner of War on December 20, 1972. During this time, Lt Arcuri deployed to Andersen AFB, Guam, in support of combat operations in Southeast Asia from March to November 1972, and then again starting in early December 1972. After spending 55 days in captivity, he was released during Operation Homecoming on February 12, 1973, and then was briefly hospitalized to recover from his injuries at Travis AFB, California. Capt Arcuri returned to flying status as a B-52 pilot and aircraft commander with the 744th Bomb Squadron back at Beale AFB in July 1973, and left active duty on July 22, 1976. During his last year on active duty, he served as an Officer Controller in the Wing Command Post. After leaving the Air Force, Bill worked as a Systems Engineer for Electronic Data Systems (EDS) in Dallas, Texas, from 1976 to 1988, and then with Perot Systems Corporation (PSC) from 1988 to 2009. He currently works for Dell Perot Systems. Bill married his wife Andrea in June 1970 and they have two sons-Karl and Lee.
His Distinguished Flying Cross w/Valor Citation reads:
First Lieutenant William Y Arcuri distinguished himself by heroism while participating in aerial flight as a B-52 Copilot near
Hanoi, North Vietnam, on 20 December 1972. On that date, while engaged in one of the largest conventional bombing
raids ever amassed in the recent history of aerial warfare, Lieutenant Arcuri was forced to bail out over hostile territory due
to significant battle damage to his aircraft as the result of extremely heavy hostile fire. Lieutenant Arcuri and his crew were in
quest of massed supplies, communications equipment, and transportation lines in order to eliminate the aggressor's capacity
to initiate an offensive, and, despite receiving heavy battle damage and incurring grave personal danger, Lieutenant Arcuri and
his crew were able to destroy the target before being forced to abandon their aircraft. The outstanding heroism and selfless
devotion to duty displayed by Lieutenant Arcuri reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.