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William Cory Quaintance


Bill Quaintance attended the Boulder High School where he was captain of the basketball and football teams. He studied at the University of Montana in Missoula, Montana and the University of Washington. He enlisted in the Air Corps in May 1942 and in August started classes at the USAAF Classification Center in Nashville, Tennessee.
He graduated as an officer from class 43-D at Freeman AAF, Seymour, Indiana on 29 April 1943. In mid-October 1943, he flew from Geiger Filed, Spokane, Washington to Grand Island, Nebraska and from there, to England, assigned as a B-17 pilot in the 306th Bomb Group / 369th Bomb Squadron. Bill Quaintance flew on 17 missions, the last one on 22 February 1944, when he was Killed In Action in the loss of B-17 # 42-31695.



  • Richard Donohue

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    A student at Baltimore’s Saint Paul’s, Richard Donohue proved to be an outstanding athlete, excelling as a quarterback in the school’s Crusaders football team. Dick enlisted in the Air Corps in January 1943 and started training at the USAAC Technical...

  • Francis Driscoll

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio Operator Gunner | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    Francis Driscoll had a twin brother, William, an elder brother Gerald, 2 younger brothers, Arthur and Edwin, and a sister Constance. Francis attended 4 years of Mechanic Arts High School in Boston, Massachusetts and later held a job as a motion picture...

  • Robert Hayes

    Military | Staff Sergeant (3rd Grade) | Ball Turret Gunner | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    Robert Hayes was studying at Westport High School in Kansas City, Missouri, when he left school to enlist in the Air Corps, having just turned 18. Joining the William Quaintance crew in the 306th Bomb Group / 369th Bomb Squadron as a Ball Turret Gunner...

  • Rudolph Jenson

    Military | Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    Rudolph Jenson graduated from the Walsh County School and attended Park River High School before entering the North Dakota State University, Class of 1940-41. After his enlistment in the Air Corps in April 1942, he took his basic training near Garden...

  • Henry Levy

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Bombardier | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    Henry Levy was a graduate of Penn State College and of the University of Scranton, Pennsylvania. Leaving school to enlist in the Air Corps in April 1942, Henry finished training as a Bombardier at Albuquerque, New Mexico in March 1943 where he was...

  • Alexander Markowski

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Assistant Engineer, Left Waist Gunner | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    Alexander Markowski enlisted in the Air Corps in April 1942 and followed training in aerial gunnery and engineering. He graduated as a Sgt from the Wendover Aerial Gunnery and Fire Control School in 1943. He met fellow engineer Sgt Joseph Strukel at...

  • Robert Might

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    Robert Might graduated from Fostoria High School and while there was an outstanding athlete, one of the few players chosen to captain both the football and basketball teams in his senior year. He attended Bowling Green State University for one year and...

  • Arnold Ostrow

    Military | Lieutenant | Navigator | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    Born and raised in Paterson, Pennsylvania, Arnold Ostrow attended School No. 13 there, then the Eastside High School and had three years of college at Paterson State Teacher’s College. Employed in a Government office in Washington, he enlisted in the...

  • Joseph Strukel

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Engineer/Top Turret Gunner | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    Born in Minnesota, Joseph Strukel moved with his family to Milwaukee, Wisconsin when he was five. He attended Boys Technical High School in Milwaukee where he took Machine Shop as his technical choice. Before his enlistment in the Air Corps in June...

  • Maxwell Williams

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Right Waist Gunner | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    Maxwell Williams attended Hopeful High School in Hopeful, Decatur County, Georgia for 3 years before working as a bookkeeper at the Hand Trading Cy in nearby Pelham. Shortly after an automobile accident that killed his sweetheart, Maxwell enlisted in...

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Units served with

  • 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers

    306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers

    Constituted as 306th Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 28 Jan 1942. Activated on 1 Mar 1942. Trained for combat with B-17's. Moved to England, Aug-Sep 1942, and assigned to Eighth AF Eighth Air Force in September 1942 Station 111 Thurleigh. During combat,...

  • 369th Bomb Squadron


  • 42-31695

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 6/12/43; Kearney 17/12/43; New Castle 31/12/43; Presque Is 2/1/44; Assigned 369BS/306BG [WW-D] Thurleigh 29/1/44; Missing in Action Aschersleben/Bernburg 22 February 1944 with Pilot William C. Quaintance; Co-pilot: Rudolph L. Jenson;...


  • VIII Bomber Command 171

    31 December 1943
    This mission is the last heavy bomber operation of 1943. 1943 had been a very "tough" year for the 8th Air Force in the European Theater of Operations (ETO). 23365 B-17s had been despatched on missions and 881 had Failed to Return (FTR) for a loss...

  • 8th Air Force 174

    4 January 1944
    The port area of Kiel, Germany and the railroad marshalling yards at Munster, Germany are the Primary targets of this Mission which is organised as two elements: one going to Kiel and the other to Munster. Roger A. Freeman begins to designate aircraft...

  • 8th Air Force 176

    5 January 1944
    This mission consists of five elements: The first element is a combined force of 131 B-17s are despatched by 1st Bomb Division: 92BG; 303BG; 305BG; 306BG; 379BG; 384BG; and 482BG to bomb the shipyards and industrial areas of Kiel, Germany. 119 are...

  • 8th Air Force 178

    7 January 1944
    The industrial areas of Ludwigshaven, Germany are the primary target for this mission. The formation has three elements. The bomber gunners of the entire force claim 30-6-17 of attacking German aircraft. ...

  • 8th Air Force 182

    11 January 1944
    Three aviation industry targets in Germany are bombed. The bomber force consists of 291 B-17s despatched from 1st Bomb Division in two elements, one element of 177 B-17s is despatched to Oschersleben, Germany as the primary target, the other 1BD...

  • 8th Air Force 183

    14 January 1944
    This mission is a combined effort of 1st, 2nd and 3rd Bomb Divisions to attack V-Weapon sites near the French coast near Pas-de-Calaise. Some targets of opportunity were also bombed. A total of 20 out of 21 V-Weapon sites are hit with varying results. ...

  • 8th Air Force 187

    21 January 1944
    This mission is directed at 36 V-Weapon sites (34 in the Pas-de-Calaise area and 2 in the Chrebourg area of France) 24 of these are bombed successfully. All three Bomb Divisions participate in the attacks and the bomber gunners claimed 5-1-2 of...

  • 8th Air Force 198

    29 January 1944
    The primary target for this mission was the railroad marshalling yards and industrial areas of Frankfurt, Germany. A combined force of 863 heavy bombers were despatched in three elements to make the attack. The combined bomber gunner claims on enemy...

  • 8th Air Force 206

    3 February 1944
    The port area and Naval facilities at Wilhelmshaven, Germany was the primary target for this mission. 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Bomb Divisions all participated. ...

  • 8th Air Force 208

    4 February 1944
    The railroad marshalling yards at Frankfurt, Germany were focus of this mission, but other railroad marshalling yards in the area were attacked as well. Weather and navigational errors frustrate target acquisition.748 heavy bombers were despatched in a...

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Associated Place

  • Thurleigh

    Military site : airfield
    Built for RAF use in 1941-42, Thurleigh was initially used by RAF Bomber Command before being handed over to the Eighth Air Force. Its runways and hardstandings were improved, and the B-17s of the 306th Bomb Group began using the base. It was their...


Event Location Date
Born Montana, United States 10 August 1921

In Helena, Montana, the son of Abel Cory and May A. Quaintance

Lived in Boulder, Jefferson County, Montana, United States 1942
Enlisted Missoula, Montana, United States 14 May 1942

as a Private in the Air Corps

Killed In Action (KIA) near Kirchen, Germany 22 February 1944

in the loss of B-17 # 42-31695

Buried Kirchen, Germany 14 March 1944

found and identified weeks after the crash, his remains were first buried at the Kirchen/Siegen cemetery

Buried Fort Snelling National Cemetery, Minneapolis, Minnesota 1950

Repatriated to the US, he rests in Minnesota in a common grave with Engineer/Top Turret Gunner Joseph Strukel


Date Contributor Update
22 May 2020 11:44:11 ED-BB Changes to events

page 1381 at

Date Contributor Update
08 April 2020 12:36:12 ED-BB Changes to awards

Added Air Medal awards from page 848 at

Date Contributor Update
08 April 2020 12:25:57 ED-BB Changes to events

Added birth date and place from WWII Draft card

Date Contributor Update
25 February 2016 12:14:25 ED-BB Changes to middlename, nickname, service number, biography, events, person associations, place associations and mission associations

MACR 2652
NARA WWII Enlistment records
US Census 1940
Data from research made on the crew of 42-31695 by Jerry Zak, nephew of Engineer Joseph Strukel (KIA)

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:27:48 AAM AAM ingest

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / MACR 2652 / MACR 2652, Losses of the 8th & 9th Air Forces / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database