Before There Were SeaBees There Were...

The Civilian Construction Men of Wake Island



A member of the Screen Actors Guild, William’s roots are as an actor. He initially performed on stage as a pre-teen in Atlanta with the Atlanta Children’s Civic Theater, performing in such classics as “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” and “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves.” He continued on stage during high school as Rabbit in “ Winnie the Pooh.”

Although he had a love of performance, his other love, aircraft, opened an additional career for him. William was awarded an appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy. Following graduation, he earned his wings as a Naval Aviator flying E-2 Hawkeye aircraft from aircraft carriers. While onboard his carrier he co-wrote and performed in shows for his fellow shipmates. After over 7 years of active service, he transferred to the Navy Reserves. He still flies, but has returned to the performing arts.

Returning to Atlanta , he once again performed on-stage. In addition, he was getting cast in commercials and industrials. In 1995 William moved to Los Angeles . He began studying under David LeGrant, a veteran of the 1950’s Actor’s Studio, the era of Marlon Brando and Marilyn Monroe.

In Los Angeles , William has been active in the film, commercial, industrial and live theater arenas. He has appeared in spots for The Fox Family Channel, Comedy Central, DiTech.com, Pontiac, and Honda (Japan), just to name a few. William also had the lead in “The Face in the Frame,” an independent film. In addition, he starred in a series of one-act plays by Michael T. Folie at North Hollywood ’s Raven Playhouse.

At a filmmaking program offered at The American Film Institute, he branched out and co-wrote and co-directed the comedy short “PRT Woman.”

William Kauffman founded Aviator Pictures. He recently completed, “Those Who Also Served,” a documentary that tells the story of a group of civilian construction men on WakeIsland, building a US Navy base in the Pacific in 1941. As part of CONTRACTOR’S PACIFIC NAVAL AIR BASES, they were attacked by the Japanese just hours after Pearl Harbor and held out for 16 days before surrendering and then spending four years in Japanese prison camps. The documentary covers the exploits of the island commander, Commander Winfield Scott Cunningham, the Marine Majors James Devereaux and Paul Putnam and the civilian leader Nathan “Dan” Teeters, as well as many of the civilians in their struggle against the Japanese. Upcoming projects include the production of an original dramatic screenplay and an adaptation of a short story.




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