WILLIAM MANDEVILLE DUNSMORE II William Mandeville Dunsmore II, 94, passed peacefully with his son and daughter-in-law holding his hands on Friday March 6th, 2020 at the Nevada State VA Home. "Bill" or "Mr. D" was a 24-year resident of Boulder City. He was born April 3rd, 1925 in Erie, PA to John and Lillian Dunsmore. They moved west to CA and then to WA, where Bill grew up in Tacoma. Before his graduation from high school, Bill enlisted in the U.S. Navy on 02/17/43. He trained in Farragut, ID for boot camp as a Radio Dispatcher, but he wanted more "action", so he continued his training in Chicago, IL to become a Motor Machinist Mate 2nd Class. With his new skill set, Bill piloted the Amphibious Landing Barge on the USS Thomas Jefferson. After being in the Navy only 3 years, Bill was involved in four WWII invasions: Sicily 07/10/43, Normandy 06/06/44, Southern France 08/15/44, and Okinawa 04/01/45. Bill remarkably survived the bombing of the 34-man landing barge he was in on the shores of Omaha Beach on 06/06/44. He had to tread water in the ice-cold ocean for 6 hours with only his life jacket and with shrapnel lodged in his shoulder and arm from the bombing, for which he was awarded a Purple Heart. Despite this, Bill went back for two more invasions, becoming a WWII Hero. Bill was recently honored with the highest military award of "Legion of Honor" in 2019, 70 years after the war. When Bill returned home to the U.S. from his numerous deployments, he earned his HS diploma and moved to Los Angeles, CA where he met and married the "LOVE" of his life, Pauline "Polly" Rush on 02/05/47. They were blessed with two children, daughter Sharmon and son Billy. They unfortunately lost their daughter Sharmon to cancer in 1986. Bill joined the L.A. City Fire Dept in 1950 and raised his family in Lomita, CA for 48 years before retiring in 1976. Bill and Polly were married for 52 beautiful years prior to Polly's passing on 02/05/99 in Boulder City, NV. During his 26-year service as a Fireman he also pursued his passion for high performance engines and fast boats and joined the world of powerboat racing. Ahead of his time in many fields, his extraordinary skills made him a "Master Icon" of all trades in the boating industry as an Engine and Boat Builder, Machinist, Welder and Wood Worker, etc. Bill created and built the infamous "Suddenly" race boat in his garage. He and Tony Maricich travelled the US, winning races, setting speed records and winning two National Titles in 1964 and 1965. Bill developed a marine turbo charging system and started his own business "Race Aero" in 1975 and competed in Ski Racing, Marathons and Offshore Racing. He met and sold his business to Tom Gentry but stayed on with the company and developed the water-cooled turbo housing and continued to set records in offshore racing using their "American Eagle Gentry Turbos". Bill retired once again and moved to Boulder City in 1996 with his wife Polly where he worked with their son Billy at their business "Dunsmore Marine" for 26 years. In 2018 Bill fell and broke his hip and femur. After the breaks he was wheelchair bound but was well cared for since then by the extremely loving nurses and facility personnel at the Nevada State VA Home. Even though he was living at the VA facility he still LOVED to "Gamble", (especially at Railroad Pass!) and eat his apple pie. Bill could light up a room with his smile and humor and his practical jokes he loved to play on peoplewith NO filter! He also loved to make big pots of Fireman chili and feed his sweet tooth. He was honest, outspoken, and a Trump loving Republican. Some of his favorite quotes were: "I'll be darn!", "Gosh darnit!!", "You didn't know that??", "If you want somethin' done right, do it yourself!!", "Are you sure??" and "Patience is a virtue!" The Dunsmore Family, Boating, Firefighting and Naval community lost a Pioneer, Mentor, Inventor, Role Model, Friend, WWII HERO, Purple Heart Veteran, and an amazing Father, Grandfather and Great-Grandfather. Survived by his son Billy, daughter-in-law Lori, granddaughter Lauren Cranny (Marcus, Jameson, Willa May), and grandsons Craig Michael (Brandy, Harmony Sharmon, Grant William) and Clint Michael (Kathy). Arrangements were handled by the Boulder City Family Mortuary and services with full Military Honors will be held on March 26th at 10am at the Southern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you donate to The Shane Patton Foundation (Navy Seal who gave his life in defense of our country.) Make checks payable to: Shane Patton Scholarship Foundation c/o Boulder Dam Credit Union, 530 Avenue G, Boulder City, NV 89005. (702) 293-7777
Published in Boulder City Review on Mar. 19, 2020.