Bill was born November 16, 1921 in Stuart, Oklahoma to Jessie and Donnie Biggers. The second of seven siblings, Bill was the only boy among six sisters; Leone, June, Elnora, Pauline, Rose Marie and Nancy. The family moved from Stuart to Southern California in 1923. His father was hired by the C.J. Appling and Doctor Hollensworth Ranches a year later, and the family moved to Biola, California. Bill enrolled as a 1st grader in Barstow Colony School in September, 1927, but one month later his father accepted a position as foreman on the large J.E. Simon Ranch located in Orange Cove, California. Bill transferred to Orange Cove Elementary, graduating in 1935. He completed his education at Orosi High School where he received his diploma in the spring of 1939.

After graduation Bill went to work for the Southern Pacific Railroad located in Alhambra, California, hoping to become a machinist. Southern Pacific had a training program where Bill could go to school in the evening for free after working his day shifts. Upon completion, he was classified as a machinist’s helper.

Bill married Maureen McDaniel in Reno, Nevada on November 17, 1940, the day before her birthday. The couple soon tired of living in Los Angeles and returned to the Simon Ranch where Bill had grown up. He took a position as a mechanic, truck driver, tractor driver and various other positions. They were furnished a nice home on the ranch where their son Ronald was born on March 15, 1943. Soon after they bought a home and moved to Dinuba, California.

On January 1, 1945 Bill entered the United States Army and went through basic training at Camp Roberts before being shipped to Manila, Luzon in the Philippine Islands. On his first combat mission, Bill was sent to locate a break away Japanese Unit that (unlike their main unit) had escaped capture. The mission consisted of Bill and 14 other men, along with the 1
st Sergeant and a truck driver. When they were about 80 kilometers into the hills from Manila, they came under enemy fire lasting about 20 hours with no American casualties and no prisoners taken. When they returned to base, they found they had been listed as AWOL. The first sergeant had listed the mission but failed to list the names of those assigned. It was eventually cleared up but they were not issued combat duty as the first sergeant was a basket case and was sent home. During his time on Luzon Bill thought he was possibly assigned to the 1st Calvary Unit, but later found his assigned unit; Company “D” 21st Regimental Combat Unit on the island of Mindanao.

After the war ended, Bill was transferred to a Headquarters Unit and promoted to T5. His Regimental Combat Team was sent to Japan, following the 41
st Infantry Unit. They were stationed at Okayama, Japan, and in March of 1946, were transferred about 20 miles south of Nagasaki where the second atomic bomb had been dropped. Bill received orders to be transferred stateside in August 1946, and was mustered out of the military in December, 1946.

Maureen had sold their Dinuba home while Bill was in the service, and purchased a home in Los Angles to be near Bill’s mother and sisters. Bill was offered a position with the United States Navy in Long Beach, but refused as his father had retired from the ranch, and Bill was offered a job as foreman. It included a good salary, a brand new home on the ranch and a new Ford pickup. Bill stayed from November 1946 until December 1952. Competent ranch help was impossible to find, and the ranch owner’s son, Ralph Simon and Bill were doing all the heavy work. Tractor drivers would not show up for work and during the spring the tractors had to run 24-7. That left Ralph or Bill to work 6:00 P.M. to 6:00 A.M. driving tractor, plus their other duties.

At this point Bill took the Fresno Police Examination and was hired on February 1, 1953. The family relocated to Fresno, and Bill began his career as the Major Accident Investigator, then walked the beat and drove a patrol car. He then went to Police Headquarters to learn the inner workings of the police
department; including dispatcher, switch board operator and the records division. He was assigned as Patrol Training Officer (crime prevention) and finally as a motorcycle officer where he remained for 8 years. Bill then became a detective; working all major crimes (burglary, robbery and homicide etc.) on the midnight to eight shift. For 3 years Bill worked the forgery and worthless documents, ending his career as a Homicide Investigator.

Beginning in November 1974 until February 1983 Bill worked for the Alpha Beta Markets as an investigator for 24 of their stores located from Sacramento to Porterville. After 8 years, 4 new cars and thousands of miles of travel Bill decided it was time to retire. As it turned out it was a foolish thought Bill says. Just 2 weeks later Sacramento called, and he was hired to work part-time for the California Horse Racing Board, where he worked 5 more years. Soon after leaving the CHRB the Fresno Police Department called asking him to be a background investigator for new police hires. He finally decided it was time to retire after 13 more years as an investigator.

Bill is still on the Fresno Police Officers Association Board of Directors after 17 years and has continued to attend all meetings, and is still on their Budget and Finance Committee as well as the PAC Committee.

Bill states he enjoyed his military service but says his two best decisions was to marry his lovely wife Maureen on November 17, 1940; a marriage lasting over 70 years until her death on November 22, 2010. The second was taking the advice of Mike Harris and joining the Veterans Memorial Museum staff.