William Patrick “Willy” Stuart-Houston (March 12, 1911 – July 14, 1987) was the nephew of Adolf Hitler. Born to Adolf’s half-brother, Alois Hitler, Jr., and his first wife, Bridget Dowling in Liverpool, William later moved to Germany and subsequently escaped, eventually going to the United States where he enlisted to fight in World War II.
In 1933, William Patrick Hitler returned to Germany in an attempt to benefit from his uncle’s rise to power. His uncle found him a job in a bank. In 1938, Adolf Hitler asked William to relinquish his British citizenship in exchange for a high-ranking job. Expecting a trap, William decided to flee Nazi Germany. This time, William threatened to tell the press that Hitler’s alleged paternal grandfather was actually a Jewish merchant. Returning to London he wrote an article for Look magazine titled “Why I Hate my Uncle.”
William did return, briefly, to Germany in 1938, possibly as a British agent. William, perhaps thinking his cover was blown, fled Germany in January 1939 with the help of a British agent.
Soon after, William and his mother went to the United States on a lecture tour and were stranded there when World War II broke out.
William Hitler petitioned President Roosevelt to allow him to serve in the armed forces. President Roosevelt sent to the FBI, who cleared him for service and according to a story circulating after his enlistment, when he went to the draft office and introduced himself, the recruiting officer supposedly replied, “Glad to see you, Hitler. My name’s Hess.” In 1944, William joined the US Navy as a Pharmacist’s Mate, a designation later changed to Hospital Corpsman until he was discharged in 1947. He had been wounded in service during the course of World War II and even earned a Purple Heart.
In 1946, he became a naturalized citizen and to protect his anonymity, changed his name to Patrick Stuart-Houston.