Adolf Hitler’s nephew served in the US Navy in WWII. William P. Hitler was sworn in on March 6, 1944 and went on to serve for three years as a pharmacist’s mate receiving a Purple Heart medal for a wound he suffered.
William Patrick Hitler was born March 12, 1911 in Liverpool, England. His father was Alois Hitler Jr., the half-brother of Adolf Hitler. Alois left his wife and son to travel Europe. He eventually moved to Germany, remarried (although he was still married), and started a new family.
When William turned 18, he traveled to Germany and reconnected with his father. His father took him to a Nazi rally where he saw his uncle Adolf, at the time leader of the Nazi party. William again visited Germany and met his uncle in person.
Upon his return, William published some articles about his uncle. However, Adolf didn’t like the way the articles portrayed him. Calling William to Berlin, Hitler ordered him to retract the articles.
The articles brought additional consequences. Now that his relationship was public, William became unwelcomed in England and was fired from his job. He moved to Germany looking for employment. Adolf then denied they were relatives and shortly thereafter, William’s father sent him back to England.
Again, in 1933, William returned to Germany looking for work. By this time, Adolf Hitler was Chancellor of Nazi Germany. This time Adolf received him calmly. William worked at a bank and later with a car manufacture. Suddenly his uncle revoked his work permit. Although eventually reinstated, his comings and goings were under scrutiny. After a frightening, angry meeting with Hitler, he decided to leave Germany.
Upon returning to England, William attempted to join the British armed forces but was rejected because of his direct relation to Adolf Hitler. William then moved to the United States where he went on a lecture tour sharing what he learned about his uncle and the Nazi regime. This was sponsored by William Randolph Hearst.
William tried to join the U.S. armed forces but once again, his family ties blocked the way. He then wrote directly to President Roosevelt who passed the letter onto FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover. Upon review, he was allowed to join the armed services.
Sworn into the U.S. Navy on March 6, 1944, William Hitler went on to serve three years as a pharmacist’s mate and received a Purple Heart for a wound he suffered. He was discharged in 1947.
William changed his last name to Stuart-Houston after leaving the service. He married, had four children, and ran a blood analysis lab. He died on July 14, 1987. His children did not produce any children of their own.