Technical Sergeant William Pierson is the tritagonist in Call of Duty: WWII, with an active skill to highlight enemies.
- "My orders were to fall back. But I couldn't just leave them. I told my men we were gonna hold this pass until reinforcements got here but they never came. They never came."
- — Pierson to Daniels.
Pierson joined the United States Army and quickly rose through the ranks, meeting Joseph Turner in 1939, during the beginning of World War II. Pierson participated in the Battle of Kasserine Pass in February 1943 alongside Turner, Arthur Crowley, and Davis. When he was ordered to retreat, he refused due to some of his men being trapped at the pass. Pierson ordered his men to hold their ground until reinforcements arrived, but no one came, resulting in a slaughter of many of his men. Because of his actions, he was given an Article 15 and a demotion to the rank of Technical Sergeant by Turner himself.
On June 6th, 1944, he was present during the invasion of Normandy, being placed on a Higgins boat with Turner and several other soldiers, such as Frank Aiello, Drew Stiles, Robert Zussman and Ronald "Red" Daniels. After landing on the beach, Pierson, along with other American forces, managed to push their way through the German defenses, clearing out several bunkers overlooking the beach before destroying an anti-aircraft gun at a farm just up the road from the beach. At the end of it all, he welcomes Daniels into the 1st Infantry Division, telling him that he's a long way from his home in Texas and calling him "farmboy".
Pierson tries to stop Zussman from going on the mission to Marigny, but reluctantly allows him to stay despite warning him. Joining with Augustine Perez, the soldiers and tanks are attacked by German Stukas, forcing them to fight reinforcements and destroy the AA guns. The squad regroup with Turner and are ordered by Colonel Davis to aid Charlie Company without the help of Perez. Pierson and the squad drive on jeeps to aid Charlie Company, killing the rest of the German forces. Pierson orders his men to secure the place and mocks Stiles question on being in a better position. Pierson then scolds Zussman for telling him that Stiles is scared, and tells Daniels to watch him.
- Pierson: "You see wings on me, private?"
- Daniels: "No, sergeant."
- Pierson: "That's because I'm not your fairy fucking god mother!"
- — Pierson and Daniels after the surviving the tower's destruction.
Pierson leads the squad to assault the German forces in Marigny, Manche. Capturing the church, Pierson orders Zussman and Aiello to take out the AA guns while he, Daniels, Stiles, Jones, and US soldiers provide cover fire. Eventually, the Germans attacked the tower, causing the squad to barely escape as Jones and another US soldier dies. After saving Daniels' life, Pierson and the squad hold off a German counterattack until Zussman and Aiello destroy the guns. Pierson then orders Daniels to send out a mortar, with the private replying "you don't have to ask me twice". Afterward, Pierson is praised by Turner, but tells Zussman and Daniels that he's been too easy on them.
The squad ally with SOE operatives Arthur Crowley and Vivian Harris to stop the German train that is holding enough V-2 rockets to destroy Paris. Sneaking over to the train, the group are spotted and are forced to fight their way to the train before it departs. Daniels and Zussman succeed in stopping the train, but cause it to crash. Pierson is later seen when Daniels and Zussman return with Camille "Rousseau" Denis.
After Rousseau and Crowley infiltrate the German base and plant the explosives, Pierson and Turner lead the assault to liberate Paris with the French Resistance. The squad then reunite with Crowley and Rousseau, and clear out the German HQ before holding off the German counterattack. Succeeding, Pierson remains cynical and reminds Crowley that the war isn't over, as the latter tells him to get his men their joy. Pierson responds that's what Turner's for, as the people of Paris celebrate with fireworks.
The 1st Infantry Division advanced to Aachen, but are stopped by PaK 38 artillery and are forced to call in Perez and Rabson for support. After Perez destroys the tank and kills the rest of the German forces, Pierson and the squad decide to clear buildings before reaching to the hotel. After clearing the hotel, the squad find civilians in the basement, much to the sergeant's annoyance. Turner orders Aiello and Daniels to get the truck they passed by and rescue the civilians despite Pierson's argument. The squad get the civilians to the truck, but one civilian named Erica is killed by German soldiers, making Pierson tell the driver to go without them escorting them.
Going deep in the Hurtgen Forest, Pierson, the squad and US soldiers defend the bridge and defeat the German forces. Turner and Pierson split to make it to Hill 493, but unbeknownst to the former, Pierson continued on without them and lost many soldiers trying to stop the Germans artillery.
- "It was an honor."
- — Pierson to Turner before he was fatally shot.
Turner learns that Pierson had continued without them, much to the lieutenant's chagrin. Pierson is seen crouched behind cover as enemies are manning an MG in the pillbox. After Parker and Daniels successfully destroy the pillbox, Pierson and Turner argue on the casualties and the former forgetting what's important. Pierson reminds Turner that they need to stop the artillery from firing on their convoy below and continue on the mission. After destroying two artillery guns, a Tiger II tank appears with reinforcements, forcing the team to use thermite to destroy it. Daniels succeeds in destroying the tank, but Turner is wounded by the German Tank Commander. Forced to fall back, Pierson attempts to save Turner, but the latter orders him and the others to leave him behind, as he can buy them time. Reluctantly agreeing, Pierson orders everyone to move out as Turner is fatally killed by Waffen-SS. Time passes, and Pierson informs Daniels that he and the squad are in "his world", and he expects everyone to follow every order he gives. In addition, he promotes Daniels to his second, and rejects Turner's revolver.
Battle of the Bulge
- "You see, we're in a whole new world Daniels. My world. And you can bet your ass that I will not shrink or waver from my responsibilities in any way."
- — Pierson to Daniels after taking leadership of the squad.
By December, Pierson has become more aggressive with his men, willing to discharge Daniels when he stops his drunken rant on Christmas Eve. The following day, Pierson orders Daniels to give the last ammo box to soldiers on the pass. Pierson groups with Corporal Howard, telling him to not expect air support as they got their hands full. The soldiers are then attacked by artillery, killing most soldiers and causing destruction. Rallying to Pierson, he orders Daniels, Zussman, Howard, and Aiello to get to the radio and call in air support. Pierson and his squad then hold out and kill many Nazi soldiers until air support comes in. After German tanks come into play, Pierson orders Daniels to call in air support to hit the tanks, but the latter refuses, stating that they are close to the safety line. Angered, Pierson takes the phone and calls in support, ordering Daniels and everyone else to get to cover. After the tank's destruction, Pierson orders Daniels to secure any German prisoners. Aiello tells the group that he's seen that look, as it was before Kasserine.
- "Desertion is a capital offense. So maybe I should just do us all a favor, and finish the job."
- — Pierson to Daniels after disobeying an order and failing to catch up to Zussman.
When taking in German prisoners, Pierson notices Zussman giving water to one, angering him and knocking the water out of the prisoner's hand. Pierson then pushes Zussman before Daniels intervenes. Pierson is then knocked on the head with the canteen by the prisoner, who runs away. Daniels finds intelligence on the Germans wanting to destroy the bridge. Satisfied with the discovery, Pierson knocks out the prisoner and makes a plan to ambush the Germans before they reach the bridge. The squad ambush the German transport, taking their trucks and reaching to the German HQ. Pierson orders Daniels and Zussman to reach a sniper position to cover them when they start the assault. Amidst the assault, Pierson retreats when a tank comes from the hanger, which destroys Daniels' and Zussman's second sniper position. Zussman is captured, causing Daniels to disobey orders and try to rescue him to no anvil. Angered, Pierson tells Daniels that he disobeyed a direct order, with the latter responding that he should have court martialed him then. Stating that desertion is a capital offense, Pierson thinks he should finish the job by killing Daniels, but stops when Stiles and the group arrive. Pierson then tells Daniels he's done and orders Aiello and Stiles to get him out of his face.
Pierson and Daniels have a confrontation where Daniels revealed what Davis told him about Pierson's actions at the Kasserine Pass. This provokes Pierson into punching Daniels first. At the second time, he winds up hitting a tent pole. Pierson finally opens up about his past to Daniels and admits to his failure at Kasserine. Although Pierson demands that he leave, Daniels refuses until he's rescued Zussman citing that Turner would never have given up and that Pierson should honor that sacrifice. Pierson retorts that Daniels knows nothing about sacifice, until Daniels reveals his honorable discharge papers saying he could've returned home to his family and received a bronze star but ultimately chose to return to duty. The argument ends with Pierson agreeing to allow Daniels back into his squad, but reminds him to not make him regret giving him a second chance. Pierson and the squad attacked the bridge with the other soldiers, while Howard's squad went to defuse as many charges as possible under the bridge. The Germans attempt to destroy the bridge, but it holds and the squad continues the fight. After Daniels destroys the Stukas, the Germans eventually surrender and the squad revels in their victory.
After the Rhine, William Pierson, Frank Aiello, Drew Stiles, and Ronald 'Red' Daniels along with other soldiers go through Germany, searching labour camps looking for Robert Zussman. While searching the last camp, they discover tracks leading in another direction. They follow them and Daniels kills Metz before the latter executes Zussman and Pierson helps carry Zussman back. At the end of the war, he bids a warm and friendly farewell to Red. Red said to him that he would tell his son that he fought with the first and he also called Pierson a "crazy bastard." Pierson jokingly replies in the same way that Red said before the Rhine mission "Crazy ain't the half of it."
- "Then there's Sergeant Pierson. A real sweetheart."
- — Daniels sarcastically describing Pierson in "D-Day".
- "You think I wanted any of this? We're cogs in a machine, Joseph. We start going our own way, the whole thing breaks down. When did you forget that?"
- — Pierson to Turner in "Hill 493".
The loss of his men and rank changed Pierson from a loyal leader to an embittered shell of his former self. During the events of Call of Duty: WWII, Pierson is often cold, distant, strict and callous towards everyone he meets. He is greatly disliked by many soldiers, who find him to be apathetic and unlikeable in general. Beneath this personality seems to be his former self. In “Stronghold”, despite reprimanding Daniels shortly after, he still saves Daniels’ life. Shown briefly in "Operation Cobra", he asks Zussman if his wounds have healed, which showed that he didn't want him to suffer the same fate as his men did in Kasserine. These two cases show that he still cares about his men, but tries to not let his emotions get to the battlefield (which indirectly caused Kasserine.)
When it came to the battlefield, Pierson was known to be persistent and dedicated to defeating the Germans. Perez even stated that he would never give up in battle. In addition, he wanted to make Daniels' platoon a model unit to wipe his slate clean, only doing so in a aggressive manner.
After the loss of Turner, Pierson became more ruthless and violent, telling Daniels that they were in "his world" and expected the best they can bring. Turner's death affected him deeply, having loss someone whom he considered a friend. Beginning to drink his sorrows away, he showed apathy to his men, an example being in "The Battle of the Bulge" when Daniels asks for any blankets. After his confrontation with Daniels in "The Rhine", Pierson became mellowed and more respected, determined to find Zussman, even going so far as to go to each German labor camp to find him.
During gameplay, his ability is to spot enemies, marking them with a glowing white outline and making them easier to see. He also allows the player to use Focus Mode, which slows down time with any weapon.
- "Oh you think you're special, huh? The Krauts are gonna eat your lunch"
- — Pierson to Daniels and Zussman in the opening.
- "Hey. Y'know a wound like this takes eight weeks to heal."
- — Pierson on Zussman's wound in "Operation Cobra".
- "You got guts, private. I just don't wanna see'em."
- — Pierson to Zussman.
- "I served six years with that man. Six"
- — Pierson on Turner after the latter's death.
- "We had orders-"
- — Pierson to Turner before being punched in "Hill 493".
- "Well ain't that somethin', Fritz."
- — Pierson before kicking a prisoner in "Ambush".
- "Crazy ain't the half of it."
- — Pierson's last words of the campaign