William Archibald Vance was born on August 21 1922 to John and Bessie Vance of Shell Creek, Tennessee. William liked to be called Archiie, after his middle name. Archie was the youngest of four children. His father was a farmer.
Archie married Marie Elizabeth Matherly Vance Morris from Johnson County, Tennessee.
In 1942, Archie moved to Toughkenamon, Chester County where he registered for the draft. He worked for the Triumph Explosive Company in Elkton, Maryland. Triumph Explosives became a large-scale manufacturer after obtaining Army and Navy contracts,
Archie entered service in the Army on December 1, 1942. After basic training he was assigned Company F, 337th Infantry Regiment, 85th Division. Regarding the actions of the 337th, Wikipedia offers the following information:
The 337th departed Hampton Roads Port of Embarkation aboard the HMS Andes on Chistmas Eve, 1943. HMS Andes landed in Casablanca, North Africa on January 2, 1944. The 337th received amphibious warfare training at Port aux Poules. After arriving in Naples, Italy on March 27, the 337th participated in the Rome-Arno, North Apennines, and the Po Valley campaigns in the Mediterranean Theater as part of the Italian Campaign.
The Regiment began a drive on Terracina on May 21 that opened the road to the Anzio beach head. Over the next month, the Regiment fought through Monte Artemisio and Lariano. In June, the 337th captured Monte Ceraso and advanced to the Viterbo River before being relieved on June 10. The Regiment relieved the 2nd New Zealand Division on the Arno River Line on August 16. The follow day they seized Mount Pratone. By September 18, they had penetrated the Gothic Line.
Private First Class William Archibald Vance was Killed In Action on September 21, 1944, near Castel fiorentino in Italy. He is buried in the Richardson Cemetery in Shell Creek, Tennessee.