Roll of Honor

Midshipmen entering the gates of Columbia University, circa 1943.

William Melvin Kober

  • School: Columbia College
  • Class Year: 1934
  • War: World War II
  • Date of Death: August 29, 1944

William Melvin Kober, a graduate of Yale Medical School 1938, Captain Medical Corps, Army was killed in Villers-Cotterets, in the north of France, when enemy forces opened fire on his ambulance. He was on his way to attend to a seriously wounded enlisted man. He received a posthumous Bronze Star Medal for meritorious service from January to August 1944.

William Melvin Kober
William Melvin Kober


I never met my grandfather, Dr. William Melvin Kober, because he was killed in action in France 12 yrs before I was born. Like him, I became a physician, so I have a special sense of who he was and what he might have been. Everyday, I hope to care as much for patients as he would have cared if he had survived the war. I have now been in practice 26 yrs, he only practiced 9 months. Maybe somehow we do get to live twice. Thanks for the Memorial. Bill Kober, MD

- william kober

My Dad ,William Kober, was the only child of his seven siblings that went to college. Columbia was along way from Little Rock in the 1930's...He was on the track team at Columbia, but his most significant contribution to the university was his singing. He was an exceptional tenor in the glee club, and he sang at Sunday church services in NYC to earn money. He was offered a job at the Metropolitan Opera but wanted to go to medical school. When he passed away, his wife, Ethel Sullivan Kober, was left with three little children (ages 7, 2, and 1 month old). I was 2 years old when he was killed on August 29,1944. He was 32 years old. The sad thing is that I have grown old and this very handsome father has remained young. I am so proud of him, and our Mom always made us very proud that our Dad went to Columbia, as well as to Yale Medical School and that he gave his life to protect the world and his family from Nazi terrorism. We were all so proud that his grandson, William Kober MD, followed in his footsteps.

- Karen Denniston (Kober)

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