The ship, together with her sister ships Hendrickson and Jarmon (but with the exception of President Warnecke), was named after one of the systems in the Chalice Cluster (in this case the Willis System), which rose into a separatist uprising against the Silesian Confederacy under the leadership of Andre Warnecke.
When Silesian forces finally succeeded in crushing Warnecke's rebellion, Willis joined a number of ships in escaping the Cluster with Warnecke and several of his followers. The ship, as well as the other vessels in Warnecke's fugitive fleet, participated in a campaign of piracy which would eventually (according to Warnecke) result in the return to the Cluster.
However, Willis and her sister ships were promptly destroyed by the Manticoran Q-ship HMAMC Wayfarer when the latter launched an attack to liberate the planet Sidemore, which had been captured by Warnecke's pirates to serve as their base. (HH6)