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Sworn to Return: The Bill Turney Story – A Port Huron man’s vow to return from World War II

With his regiment pinned down by the enemy, a young soldier from Port Huron, Michigan must run through gunfire to get a message to operations before his men are obliterated by mortar shells.

This emotional hour-long documentary is about a 92-year-old veteran from Port Huron, Michigan named Bill Turney talking about his experiences in World War II and serving under General Patton.  Using public domain war footage, Mr. Turney recalls his boot camp training of 1944, his first major gunfire in which he was wounded, the Battle of the Bulge in freezing temperatures, the liberation of concentration camp captives and the surrendering of 5,000 Germans.  Mr. Turney was awarded the Silver Star, two Bronze Stars, the Purple Heart and 23 other medals for his service.

Bill set out to join the Port Huron Police Department after returning home from his well-decorated service in WWII but was deemed, “too short” based on a since abolished height requirement. However, Bill has always found a way to help out the Police department over the years, he was a participant in the citizen’s police academy in 2002. After the academy, he decided he would become a volunteer for the department.

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In 2019, Bill was honored by the Port Huron Police Department with a scholarship in his name which would be provided to a youth academy participant exploring a career in criminal justice who demonstrates great leadership, academic, and physical skills.

Bill was also recognized as an Honorary Deputy by Sheriff Tim Donnellon of the St. Clair County Sheriff’s Department.

This video was filmed just nine months before Bill died and discloses to the public the experiences that he underwent and the agony that he endured.

We hope that during this COVID-19 crisis, you take the time to reflect and honor our local heroes like Mr. Bill Turney.

In Remembrance of…
William C. Turney  (May 9, 1926 – April 4, 2019)
You are deeply missed.

Bill Turney’s Obituary from Pollock-Randall Funeral Home:

William Charles Turney, 92, of Port Huron, died Thursday, April 4, 2019.

He was born May 9, 1926 in Flint to the late William and Ellen Turney. He married Barbara O’Rourke on September 16, 1950 in Port Huron.

Mr. Turney was a decorated WWII Army Veteran who served in the Rhineland Central European Campaign under General George Patton and was awarded the Purple Heart, Silver Star Medal, and two Bronze Stars. He was employed with the U.S. Postal Service as a letter carrier. He played hockey and baseball and was involved in coaching minor league hockey for many years. He played in the Post Office Golf League, and volunteered with the St. Clair County Sherriff’s Department and Port Huron Police Department for many years. The William C. Turney Scholarship Fund was established by the City of Port Huron Police Department last year to honor his years of volunteer service. He was a member of Charles Hammond American Legion Post #8, Charles Schoor V.F. W. Post #796 and D.A.V. Chapter #12.

William is survived by his wife, Barbara; three children, Lynne Zalenski, Kathryn Turney, and Mike (Tami) Turney; five grandchildren, Jennifer Vasquez, Bill Holmes, Thomas (Danielle) Stover, Jessica Stover, and Kelly Turney; and great grandchild, Aspen Holmes. He was preceded in death by his brother, Albert Turney.

A memorial visitation will be held from 10:00 am-12:00 pm Saturday, April 13, 2019 in Karrer-Simpson Funeral Home followed by graveside services at Allied Veterans Cemetery at 12:30 pm. Military honors will be conducted under the auspices of the U.S. Army and St. Clair County Allied Veterans Honor Guard.

Memorials may be made to the William C. Turney Scholarship Fund. To send condolences, visit karrersimpson.com


This production was funded by The Grant Smith Health Insurance Agency and GBS Media.

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