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William D. Yost III

Company A-1

19 Mar 1939 - 7 Dec 1996


Class Memorial Pages\A-1 Bill Yost.pdf

Assembly/Taps Memorial Article:


Cullum No. 23663-1961 | December 7, 1996 | Died in Morganville, NJ
Interred in West Point Cemetery, NY


William Daniel Yost III was born in Danville, PA on March 19, 1939. He was the first of four children of William Yost Jr. and Martha Yost (nee Gass). When he reached the ninth grade, his athletic career began that fall with football. He proved to be an astute student of the game and quite a perfectionist as to technique, drills, and exercises. Football was followed by varsity basketball and varsity track, for which he hurled the shot and discus. By his senior year, he was named All-State tackle from the Paulsboro High School in New Jersey. His physical size and prowess on the field, together with good academic performance, had attracted the attention of many Division-1A football coaches throughout the region. He received many football scholarships offers but was most touched when Colonel Red Blake from West Point visited his home and spoke to him and his parents. The colonel persuaded him to accept a “scholarship” to our Rockbound Highland Home.

Classmates who saw Bill during Beast Barracks double timing in gym shorts remarked that they had never seen such a strongly built fellow. His neck girth marked him unmistakably as a serious football player. He was disappointed the rules did not permit him to play “A” Squad plebe year; he did so starting yearling year. 

After every football season, Bill would have a surgical procedure done on one or the other of his knees. Fluid was removed, or some more serious procedure was performed. He loved football and viewed knee problems as a small price to pay. Frank Gibson, classmate and team co-captain for the 1960 fall season, remembers Bill as a guy who always came to practice and to games ready to give full effort regardless of the pain. Team co-captain Al Vanderbush said he echoed Frank Gibson’s comments and added that Bill inspired us all. Beat Navy! Classmate Bruce Seidel remembers Bill as friendly but direct, sort of the way he saw him play football. 

Upon graduation, Bill went into the Signal Corps, serving at the Army Electronics Proving Ground, Fort Huachuca, AZ. He then served in Turkey for his first overseas tour with the U.S. Logistics Group, (TUSLOG). A classmate remembers Bill bringing him a meerschaum pipe purchased while stationed in Turkey. Then Bill went back to Fort Monmouth, NJ for the Signal Corps Officer Advanced Course. He served in Vietnam as commander of the 347th Signal Company, 29th Signal Group. Bill had a second tour in Turkey, also with TUSLOG. Bill was awarded the Bronze Star Medal, the Army Commendation Medal and the Air Medal.

He left the Army in September 1976 at Fort Monmouth. He stayed there in the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command (CECOM), leading several significant programs. There he met his wife, Linda, who was also a CECOM employee at Fort Monmouth. They were married in 1976. Bill was a pioneer in technology development. He passed a valuable legacy to a generation of CECOM engineers, emphasizing usability by the Army’s soldiers.

A classmate wrote of Bill in the Class of 1961 yearbook: “When Big Bill came to West Point, he was a little disappointed plebe year not to be allowed to play A-Squad football. Between football and academics, he was always busy, but not too busy for reading.”

Bill was a hospital patient in 1996 and discharged himself so he could attend the 35th reunion of his class and interact with the classmates he so much admired. He cherished these relationships and wanted so much to reunite with his classmates and vigorously interact with them. He was determined to accomplish that. In that process Bill did not share the fact that he was hospitalized with his classmates. His hospitalization was only learned about when he passed away several months after the 35th reunion. 

— Rod Cameron, Paul Palmer and Bill Williamson, classmates