People of Brown County: Bill Patzke
Green Bay native Bill Patzke was in the Marine Corps from 1963 through 67. Including a tour in Vietnam, from 1965-66 with a helicopter squadron. He said he was officially an electrician but he volunteered to fly on 160+ missions as a door gunner.
“We had some very close escapes, crash landed in the DMZ (de-militarized zone) one time while putting in recon. We also had a chopper in our formation, flying on our wing, get shot down once, taken down by our own artillery,” he said.
A University of Wisconsin Green Bay graduate, he spent his professional life after the Corps as a city planner in both De Pere and Green Bay. He finished his career as Director of Planning and Economic Development for the city of De Pere.
Patzke said he’s been married to his beautiful wife, Jane, for 31 years and that he was on his way home to celebrate her 70th birthday.
The Patzkes have a daughter and two grandsons, Elias and Oliver, who live in Brookfield, IL.