On June 10, 1944, a B-24 Liberator bomber loses its engines following a raid on Japanese
forces. The pilot, 2nd Lt. William H. Wallace Jr., sacrifices himself to save the lives of his seven crew members. He leaves behind a wife and an unborn daughter, Judy.
Seventy-one years later, Judy receives an email from a stranger who is working on a memorial project for World War II soldiers who served in China. Beyond reading old newspaper accounts and quiet family conversations, Judy has never fully explored what happened to her birth
father, but the stranger’s questions kindle a deep desire to learn more.
Death in Wartime China: A Daughter’s Discovery weaves together Bill Wallace’s odyssey as an
airman with his daughter’s journey of reconnection. By turns moving and thought-provoking,
Judy’s story paints a picture of quiet heroism, friendship that spans oceans, and love that
About the Author
Judy Goodman Ikels, a native Texan and graduate of the University of Texas who majored in English and Spanish, completed a twenty-eight-year civil service career with the Department of State in 2018. She served as CLO Coordinator in Rio de Janeiro from 1985-1987; as a training instructor with the OBC from 1988-1992; Employment Coordinator and Deputy Director of the Global Community Liaison Office from 1995-2004 where her team was instrumental in designing the Family Member Appointment. From 2004-2018 she served in the Office of Employee Relations, finally as Chief of the Work Life Division. Judy received CCE-EFM award in 2017 and the Director General’s Cup in 2019. Judy served alongside her late husband, Larry Ikels, in his thirty-one-year career as a foreign service officer with the US Information Agency posted in El Salvador, Colombia, Venezuela, Mexico, Brazil, and Greece.