William Taylor Thurman was born at Atlanta, Ga., in 1909. He graduated from the University of Georgia with a bachelor of laws degree in 1932, and the same year was admitted to the bar in Georgia, Florida and the U.S. District Court. Appointed a second lieutenant in the Infantry Reserve in May 1931, he was transferred to the Judge Advocate General Reserve in December 1937. After receiving h1s law degree he practiced law in Atlanta.

Called to active duty in January 1941, General Thurman was appointed chief of the Contract and Claims Branch of the Fourth Corps Area Headquarters at Atlanta. That August he was named a member of the Military Affairs Division in the Office of the Judge Advocate General, U.S. Army, and the following June became chief of the Enlisted Branch of that division. Receiving his regular commission in July 1943, he was appointed assistant chief of the Military Affairs Division.

Going overseas in March 1945, General Thurman became judge advocate of the 92nd Infantry Division in the Mediterranean Theater. That September he was appointed director of materiel in the Office of the Procurement Judge Advocate, Washington, D.C., and a month later became legal adviser to the special representative to the undersecretary of war for property disposal and termination. In January 1947, the general was assigned to the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army.

Designated associate general counsel in the Office of the Secretary of the Air Force in October 1947, General Thurman was transferred to the Air Force the following month, and on Dec. 16, 1949, was, appointed general counsel. He was named deputy chief of staff for programming in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, in August 1950.

Ordered to Wiesbaden, Germany in January 1951, General Thurman was appointed deputy chief of staff, U.S. Air Forces in Europe. That May he became deputy chief of staff for administration of the Allied Air Forces in Central Europe, with duty station in France.

Joining the Air Materiel Command in November 1952, General Thurman was designated director of procurement inspection at Norton Air Force Base, San Bernardino, Calif. On Aug. 1, 1954, he was appointed deputy director for procurement at AMC Headquarters, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, becoming Deputy Director, Procurement and Production for AMC Headquarters, on June 1, 1957.

General Thurman has been awarded the Bronze Star Medal.