William J. Hempel was born about 1922 in Brooklyn, New York. His parents were Frederick Peter Hempel and Susan "Susie" Freeth.
The 1925 New York Census shows 2-year-old William Hempel living with his parents at 1394 Madison Avenue in Brooklyn. His father's occupation is listed as a Salesman. Also in the household were three older siblings: Ettie, age 11; Frederick, age 7; Evelyn, age 6.
By 1930, the family was living in a new home at 318 Grove Street, Brooklyn. William, age 7, is listed with his parents, Fred and Sue, and his three siblings: Ettie, age 15; Fred, age 12; Evelyn, age 9.
Ten years later, William and his parents are found to be living at 61-12 Woodbine Street in Queens with his sister, Evelyn, and her husband, William Youngs. William is listed as 17 years old and working as a Messenger Boy.
William Hempel attended Public School 151 and Link:Franklin K. Lane High School. After graduating, he worked as a stock clerk in a linen embroidery company.
On December 10, 1942, he enlisted in the U.S. Army. He was sent to the front lines in Europe about October 1944 and won the Combat Infantryman Badge for bravery. Sadly, he was killed in action on about November 18, 1944.
Sgt. William J. Hempel is listed on the World War II Honor list at the New York State Military Museum. He is reported to have received a posthumous Silver Star Award for "conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy while serving with the 34th Infantry Division during World War II."
↑ Estimated birth year based on census and enlistment records. See below.
↑ "New York State Census, 1925," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:K91D-1CB : accessed 19 October 2015), William Hempel, Brooklyn, A.D. 20, E.D. 34, Kings, New York, United States; from "New York, State Census, 1925," database and images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : 2012); citing state population census schedules, 1925, p. 29, line 27, New York State Archives, Albany.
↑ "United States Census, 1930," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:X4VJ-2Y2 : accessed 19 October 2015), William Hempel in household of Fred Hempel, Brooklyn (Districts 0251-0500), Kings, New York, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 0438, sheet 15B, family 335, line 74, NARA microfilm publication T626 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 2002), roll 1536; FHL microfilm 2,341,271.
↑ "United States Census, 1940," database with images, FamilySearch, link:(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:KQPZ-7L9 : accessed 19 October 2015), William Kempel in household of Fred W Kempel, Assembly District 6, Queens, New York City, Queens, New York, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 41-1816A, sheet 2B, family 31, NARA digital publication T627 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 2012), roll 2754.
↑ "United States World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946," database, FamilySearch link:(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:KMJ6-J3J : accessed 19 October 2015), William J Hempel, enlisted 10 Dec 1942, New York City, New York, United States; citing "Electronic Army Serial Number Merged File, ca. 1938-1946," database, The National Archives: Access to Archival Databases (AAD) (http://aad.archives.gov : National Archives and Records Administration, 2002); NARA NAID 126323, National Archives at College Park, Maryland.
↑ Obituary - "William J. Hempel", The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, December 14, 1944. p. 11. Accessed on 14 January 2016. Newspapers.com link:[]
↑ "Gave His Life - Memorial services for William J. Hempel of 59-34 Menahan St, Ridgewood...", The Long Island Daily Press, December 15, 1944. p. 5. Accessed on 14 January 2016. FultonHistory.com http://www.fultonhistory.com
↑ "65 Soldiers From Area Listed Slain In Action", The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, February 13, 1945. p. 7. Accessed on 14 January 2016. Newspapers.com link:[]
↑ "U.S. Rosters of World War II Dead, 1939-1945", database with images, Ancestry.com link: (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 27 March 2017), William J. Hempel, Sgt, Army, Service no. 32680737.
↑ "Hempel, William J." New York World War II Honor List: US Army and US Army Air Force - Dead And Missing, US Navy, US Marine Corps, and US Coast Guard - Dead, Missing, POW, and Wounded. New York State Military Museum and Veterans Research Center, link:[Indexed Online].
↑ "William Hempel", Military Times Hall Of Valor. Accessed 27 March 2017. []