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Draft registration card for William J. Kanos.  Based on his age of 19, the card was probably completed somewhere in 1941

On 28 October 1942 William was inducted as a draftee and was assigned to Company D, 508th PIR.

Due to an injury sustained in a practice jump in March 1944, Pvt Kanos was unable to make the Normandy jump.

But Pvt Kanos did participate in the Holland jump and was listed as missing in action in Holland on 17 September 1944.  He is listed in the National Archives as having been taken as a prisoner of war on that date. 

Pvt Kanos was liberated from Stalag 7A perhaps as late as 26 May 1945. 

William “Bill” James Kanos passed away at his residence on August 25, 2014 at the age of 93. He was a native of Fayetteville, NC. He was the son of the late James V. Kanos and Lucy Underwood Kanos of Fayetteville. He was married to Kathryn Eleanor Blalock for 58 years, before the Good Lord called her home. Mr. Kanos was visiting his family in Waynesville when he met Kathryn at Gunn’s Corner on Main Street in Waynesville. After several weeks, they were married.

Mr. Kanos is survived by his daughter, Linda Carroll Ethridge and her husband Mark Ethridge of Waynesville; three grand-children, Brad Leatherwood (Stephanie), Brooke Nickol (Josh), and Linc Leatherwood; and five great-grandchildren, Jacob Leatherwood, Lexie Underwood, Ben, Luke, and Kathryn Grace Nickol and several nieces and nephews and many friends who were very special to him.

In addition to his parents, he is preceded in death by, sisters, Magdaline Katsoudes and Olga Fermanides. He is also survived by two sisters, Helen Gantsoudes of Danville, VA and Marie Keretses (George) of Florence, SC; two step-brothers Chris James Kanos (Elaine) and Nick James Kanos (Rose Marie) of Tarpon Springs, FL/

Mr. Kanos was a member of the Hazelwood Baptist Church for over sixty-years and served as a Deacon for 57 years. He was a York Rite 32nd Degree Shriner, a member of HAWA and member of NCGE.

He was a combat veteran of WWII. He volunteered for service in the 82nd Airborne near the end of the war. In a practice jump prior to the invasion of Normandy, his parachute failed to fully deploy and he suffered compression fractures of four vertebrae. He spent four months in a body cast in a hospital in Nottingham, England. After several weeks of rehab, he jumped again at the invasion of Holland and was soon captured by German SS Troops.

He was a POW for nine months before General Patton freed the camp prisoners. He later received the Purple Heart.

Mr. Kanos worked in the building industry for 17 years in the Waynesville area. He started several subdivisions in that time. In 1969 he accepted a teaching job with Haywood County Schools, teaching construction industry and carpentry at Tuscola High School. He was always very proud of his students’ accomplishments. While at Tuscola he started the first boys’ tennis team, coached JV boys basketball for 8 years and Varsity girls basketball for 4 years. Several of his tennis and basketball athletes went on to play in college.

He retired after teaching and coaching for 21 years. Funeral services will be held at 3 PM Friday, August 29, 2014 at the Hazelwood Baptist Church with the Reverends Tim Lolley and Kathy Wilson officiating. The family will receive friends on Friday prior to the service at the church from 1 to 3 PM. Burial will be held at Green Hill Cemetery.

[source: Garrett Funeral Home]

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