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Bill Padar


Date and Place of Birth: January 19, 1918 Thorpe, WV
Date and Place of Death:    December 2, 1942 Tunisia
Baseball Experience: Minor League
Position: Second Base
Rank: Corporal
Military Unit: 13th Armored Regiment, 1st Armored Division US Army
Area Served: Mediterranean Theater of Operations

William L. “Bill” Padar was born in 1918 in Thorpe, West Virginia, a former coal town that has since been incorporated into Gary. He was the son of Bertha and Joseph Padar, a miner from Hungary. The family moved to Detroit in the 1920s, where Bill attended Southwestern High School, starred on the baseball team and played sandlot ball, along with his brother Jim, with Western Union and Commodore in the Class B Detroit Baseball Federation.  

In 1940, Padar signed with the Mansfield Braves of the Class D Ohio State League and played second base on opening day against the Lima Pandas, going 2-for-4 in the 13-5 win. He continued to play for Mansfield throughout May, but he was released in June and returned to Detroit, where he worked as a crane operator and played baseball with Arthur’s and Local No. 174.  

Working at the Revere Copper & Brass Works on West Jefferson Avenue in Detroit, Padar entered military service with the Army in September 1941, and served with the 13th Armored Regiment of the 1st Armored Division. Corporal Padar was part of a tank crew (either M3 Stuart light tank or M3 Lee medium tank) that saw action against Germany’s Afrika Korps in Tunisia. He was killed in action when his tank was destroyed in battle on December 2, 1942.  

Bill Padar is buried at the North Africa American Cemetery in Carthage, Tunisia.

Date Added March 26, 2020. Updated May 30, 2022

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