William A. Sommers

July 9, 20198 Comments

Captain I, Fire Station 91-B

July 4, 2019


07/16/2000 – FS 91B

Details about the memorial service

Widows, Orphans & Disabled Firemen’s Fund
PO BOX 41903
Los Angeles, CA 90041

Comments (8)

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  1. Rick Watters says:

    I first met “Fly Boy Bill” when I was an A/O at “old” 29’s and he was a Capt-I. He had been a F/F in Chicago before coming out to LA. and shared some of that experience with myself and others. He helped me prepare for my Capt’s oral, as he was a wealth of info. Later, my family went on water ski trips to lake Buena Vista with him. If I remember correctly, Bill was “First-In” on a massive accident in the S/B truck lanes on Hwy 14 in the Newhall Pass tunnel. We continued contact by e-mail, and he sent me (and I’m sure others) a picture collection of the “Oroville Dam” spillway collapse (taken from his plane). I can’t remember if he took up flying down here or after he moved to Grass Valley.

    May he “Rest in peace”.

  2. James Kinninger says:

    Bill was number 1 on our hiring list! We were classmates at DT 89, Class of 2/10/68. While our paths didn’t cross much over the next 20 years, we did see each other at reunions and retirement dinners. In his retirement, he flew his Piper here to Smith Valley and we spent a wonderful time over lunch and sharing stories from way back. He did share that his hangar in Grass Valley was next to Chuck Yager’s hangar. Bill had the pleasure of flying General Yager several times. It was on one of these trips to Barron Hilton’s Flyimg ‘M’ Ranch (not far from my home) that Bill stopped in. He would sent me photos and great videos of his flying trips. One was a trip around the perimeter of the lower 48 states. I shared his love of flying but never his ability or hours as Pilot-in-Command.
    RIP, my Friend
    Jim Kinninger

    • James Kinninger says:

      I understand that Bill was found in his hangar next to his plane. Now that’s the way for a passionate pilot to go.

  3. First met Bill at FS64B in 1970- my 3rd rookie house. He helped me get through some difficult times there while I was on probation. He was also part of what was probably the tallest truck company in the City with Leroy Frye, Jeff Willey, and me (the shortest at 6’5″). Bob Ewert was our skipper. Firefighting was fun back then, and Bill loved a good game of eight ball. I imagine he’s flying high somewhere right now.

  4. David Rowley says:

    91B and Bill were great memories. 91’s was my 1st open house when I was a little pup and was impressed with the rolled down turnout pants and boots next the beds in the dorm. Following the ’71 Sylmar earthquake I realized that pants and boots next to my bed were a good thing and one good reason to be a fireman. I got stuck in Batt. 12 for a few years and had the pleasure of working around him. One of the guys I used in my career for my own “Leadership Academy’. Thank you Captain Sommers for the inspiration.

  5. Bill and I were Captain I’s both in Battalion 11 & 12. Always competent on the fire ground and a pleasure to be around. Sad to hear he is gone, but not forgotten.

  6. Mike Dodd says:

    What a great guy…..Bill always had time to show the youngsters the ropes and always set a good example in the fire stations. I never worked for him as a fire officer, but he was a terrific firefighter and teammate….always gave more than he got…..RIP, my friend…..

  7. Sylvia Maxstone says:

    I became friends with Bill when he came into my store around 2001. He was always upbeat, friendly and a gentleman. He took me for a few “$100 hamburgers” and retired Firefighter Christmas parties. He was so good to all of the kids he took flying including my daughter. I knew she would be safe with him.
    He spoke often of his 3 sons and how much they meant to him. He loved them very much.
    We will miss you Bill.

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