William Charles Ackerknecht, the son of Clarence and May Elizabeth Ackerknecht, was born on March 21, 1925, in Albany, New York. By 1930, he was residing in Schenectady with his family. In 1943, William received his diploma from the Albany Academy. He participated in the swing band, the Warren Literary Society, the Dramatics Club, and the Glee Club. William attended Cornell University and was a pre-med student. 

In March 1944, William enlisted in the United States Army. He held the rank of Private First Class and served with the 121st Infantry Division. William was killed on December 7, 1944, after volunteering to replace another soldier on a reconnaissance mission during the Battle of Hurtgen Forest. He is buried in Vale Cemetery, Schenectady, New York.

Sources: The Albany NY Times Union, Find A Grave, Ancestry