Everyone Thought He Was Just An Ordinary Janitor Then They Discovered His Heroic WWII Past

In our everyday lives, we cross paths with different kinds of people unaware of their past. It’s just how life is. At work or in school, we get to see the same familiar faces every day without getting to know who they really are.


Just like this seemingly ordinary hard working janitor who is more often than not easily looked over because of his humble job. But little did the people around him know, that this quiet janitor had a secret past so great he was considered as a hero.

You only get to meet a few people who’ve done heroic acts in the past, especially during World War II. Let’s find out this janitor’s incredible secret heroic past.

10. Present Time

As groups of young men crowd the hallways of a busy military academy, a solitary figure makes his way through the crowd. An older man, who is busy sweeping floors and cleaning up the mess the cadets frequently make. Only a few stop to give him a second look but little did they know this janitor is hiding a secret past that’s almost too incredible to believe.

In the late 1960s, a Colorado native named William Crawford started working as a janitor at the USAF Academy in Colorado Springs. He works hard to keep the building clean, taking care of everything from emptying the trash to cleaning bathrooms.

9. Ordinary Bill

By the 1970s William Crawford, known to his friends as Bill had become a familiar figure to the cadets who called the academy home. Many of those who have crossed his path have even said that he was good at his job. But he still wasn’t memorable to the young men who goes to the academy.

Colonel James Moschgat, who was a cadet at the Colorado complex in the late 1970s, has recalled a man who was easily overlooked. “Bill didn’t move too quickly,” he wrote in a 2016 article for the United Service Organizations’ On Patrol magazine. “And in fact, you could say he even shuffled a bit.”

8. An Accidental Discovery

Although the young cadets did not see Bill as anyone of importance, a chance find in a military history book would change their opinions of him forever. As Colonel Moschgat would soon discover the humble janitor was keeping a heroic past.

It was in the fall of 1976 that Moschgat was going through a book about World War II. In it he came across some interesting details about the difficult ground campaign that Allied forces had fought in Italy in 1943.

7. The Brave Soldier

Colonel Moschgat’s attention was grabbed by the story of one man. He had been a private belonging to the U.S. Army’s 36th Infantry Division. And on September 13, 1943, that private had found himself in the middle of a brutal battle at Hill 424, an enemy-held position close to Altavilla, Italy.

While the rest of his platoon came under heavy machine gun fire, this private carried it upon himself to take down the enemy gun arrangement solo. Even more amazing, he managed to crawl close to the gun and throw a hand grenade in its direction. And as a result, he destroyed the weapon and killed its crew.