Wilbur "Bill" Littlefield

Wilbur "Bill" Littlefield was born April 6, 1922 in Los Angeles, the son of Marie and Forrest Littlefield. He passed away June 9, 2012 in Van Nuys, CA.

He attended Westwood (Selby Ave.) Grammar School, Emerson Junior High and graduated from University High School, class of 39.

After attending U.C.L.A. for three and a half years he entered military service in 1942. He graduated from O.C.S. in January of 1943 and went overseas as an infantry replacement being assigned to Co. 'E' 160th Infantry, on the island of Hawaii. During his service on Hawaii he volunteered to attend Ranger and Combat School on Oahu where he also served as an instructor in demolitions. Upon completing Ranger School he returned to Co. 'E' on Hawaii, which shortly thereafter was assigned to Oahu. In December of 1943 Company 'E' went to Guadalcanal and then a few months later went to Cape Gloucester, New Britain. Shortly after arriving there he answered a call for "Volunteers for a Dangerous Mission behind the Japanese Lines". He was selected as the one officer from his regiment to attend the Alamo Scout Training Center in Australian New Guinea. Upon graduation he was selected as an Alamo Scout Team Leader where he led eleven completed missions behind enemy lines ranging in length from two to seventy four days. He led missions in Australian New Guinea, Dutch New Guinea, Leyte, Samar and Luzon. On Leyte, his team served for a time as a personal bodyguard for General Walter Krueger, the Commanding General of the Sixth Army.

After discharge from the service he married Vera Bryan in 1945. He then attended Hastings College of Law from September 1946 to June 1949. After graduation he was admitted to the State Bar in January 1950 and moved to Los Angeles where he was in private practice until 1957. He then decided to become a Deputy Public Defender. While working for the Public Defender's Office he was promoted to Head Deputy, Chief Trial Deputy, Chief of the Branch and Area Offices and, in 1976, he was appointed Public Defender, a position he held until his retirement in 1993.

He was a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. In the period from 1962 to 1966, he personally defended more first degree murder cases, where juries determined the penalty, than any other lawyer in the state of California.

He is survived by his children, Jerry Littlefield, his wife Laurie, Lynn Cope, Marcia Payette, her husband Joe, Kevin "Jack" Littlefield and wife Amy, his nine grandchildren, Sherry, Kim, Christie, Bryan, Christopher, Michelle, Patrick, Jeremy and Jackie, nine great grandchildren, many nieces and nephews, and Marilyn who was the joy of his life for the last thirteen years.

His parents, his wife Vera, his sister Audrey McElhanon and many canine pals, Angel, Inky, Inkette, Racky, Amy and Bear predeceased him.

Bill was a generous man in so many ways. He was a defender of the downtrodden and never missed an opportunity to give to those less fortunate than himself. He loved and appreciated his family and friends. He will be missed more than words can express.

A Memorial Service will be held 11:00 a.m. on June 30, 2012 at:
St. Bridget of Sweden Catholic Church, 7100 Whitaker Ave., (corner of Whitaker Ave. & Gault Street), Van Nuys, CA 91406-3719.
Published by San Gabriel Valley Tribune on Jun. 13, 2012.
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19 Entries
Several days ago, I was looking at details in my father's WWII flight log book. On Jan 11, 1945, our father's torpedo bomber was hit by Japanese anti-aircraft fire, and they had to make an emergency landing near Tarlac, Central Luzon. On June 20, they met up with "Lt Littlefield, 2 Sgts and several Filipino scouts", and got out from behind enemy lines the next day. I decided to look up Lt Littlefield -- wow! Years ago, I read Ghost Soldiers. Now will have to re-read it. Thank you Lt Littlefield!
Stephen L. Kirkpatrick, DDS
August 14, 2021
Uncle burr was a great man and great uncle to me.
Michael Alwyn
June 8, 2020
Uncle Burr was a great person. I love talk to him about is life .Michael Alwyn
michael Alwyn
June 7, 2019
Lost another great one
August 15, 2012
Mr. Littlefield was a long time friend to my dad, Orvis Pealer. They went to the same schools.Dad passed away in 2004 but I know Wilbur and Dad are now joking up in heaven. My condolences to the family
Nancy Pealer-Johnson
June 30, 2012
Bill, I will never forget you and what you did for me. I love you with all my heart.
Floyd Neiswanger
June 28, 2012
In loving memory of a wonderful person. We will love you and miss you always.
Michael Alwyn
June 27, 2012
It was an honor and a pleasure to be one of the many people that got the opportunity to have Bill in our lives, you will be missed. Thank you for everything you have done to make a difference in our lives. Love and prayers to the family and to my mom, Marilyn.

Jeff and Debbie Sopko
Jeff Sopko
June 19, 2012
Dear Sir. thank you for all you did for all of us, for without men and women like you our world would not be FREE. God Bless you and your Family, I'll miss you at the Seattle Reunion.

George Lawson
Aviation Ordnance Chief,
U.S.N. Retired
George Lawson
June 19, 2012
Sending my love to Aunt Mimi! I know you will miss him terribly.
Love, Betsy
Betsy Telford
June 16, 2012
wow bill you were the nicest guys i have ever met,thanks for bringing joy an love to my mother
david sopko
June 16, 2012
Bill was a terrific fellow. He's the type of person who makes America great. We're sad to see his passing.
Deamme Ottesen
June 15, 2012
I can't say this about many people, but meeting and talking to Bill was one of the wonderful privileges of my life. I knew I was in the presence of greatness, and that's a rare, rare thing. What a life well-lived! I'll carry my memories of him for the rest of my life.
T.A. Santos
June 15, 2012
Passing of a great man. You'll be missed.
David Wang
June 15, 2012
Uncle Burr was the most gracious man I ever knew. I will always miss fishing with him.
-Bruce Bryan McKinleyville, CA
June 14, 2012
He was one of the best!

Walter & Michaela Hanna, Reseda CA
June 14, 2012
My dearest gramps,
My heart aches from missing you so much already. My world will never be the same without you.
Christina Behle
June 13, 2012
Our dear friend, we will miss you forever. Ken and Maureen Green.
Ken and Maureen Green
June 13, 2012
It was my great pleasure to meet Bill back in 2007 and to get to know him at the Alamo Scout convention in Denver, Colorado. He was a wonderful guy and a true hero. -- Larry Alexander, author "Shadows In the Jungle: The Alamo Scouts Behind Japanese Lines in World War II"
Larry Alexander
June 13, 2012
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