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103-year-old WWII vet honored at O's park for his historical time in the Army

Posted at 5:30 PM, May 27, 2024

BALTIMORE — How does one honor a remarkable WWII Army veteran who just turned 103? His fraternity brothers took him to Camden Yards. The amazing Mr. William “Billy” Keys sat on the suite level at Oriole Park Monday afternoon. He was greeted by Gov. Wes Moore and other O’s fans in his section. 

Gov. Wes Moore meets Mr. Keyes

Keyes was a part of the historic 761st Tank Battalion, which was dubbed the “Black Panthers.” According to the U.S. Army, the 761st were in combat for a record-setting 183 straight days. They were responsible for liberating 30 towns and were credited with helping initiate a number of General Patton’s strategies in enemy territory. 

Mr. Keyes watching the Orioles beat the Red Sox
Mr. Keyes watching the Orioles beat the Red Sox

During his service, Keyes helped liberate a Jewish concentration camp.

Today, he’s a collector and has his own personal museum attached to his home. The photos and other collectibles are physical manifestations of his amazing life, including his time in the Army in addition to his work in the Annapolis community. 

When his service ended, Keyes became a teacher and police officer in Washington, D.C. He eventually worked in the Anne Arundel County School System for 35 years as a teacher.