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William Leroy Bull

Military

After graduation from the Waterford High School, William Bull worked at the General Electric Co plant in Schenectady, NY. He enlisted in February 1943 and followed aerial gunnery training. Sent overseas, he was assigned to the 381st Bomber Group / 532nd Bomber Squadron. He was Tail Gunner on board B-17 # 42-38029 when it was shot down on the 8 March 1944 mission to Berlin-Erkner. Initially evaded with the help of Dutch and Belgian patriots, he and other American airmen, including five others of his crew, were denounced and arrested with members of the Resistance organization. Interned in Liège before he was sent to Stalag Luft 4 in Gross Tychow-Tychowo (Poland). Force-marched from there on 6 February 1945. Walked for 86 days until liberated on 2 May 1945. Flown to France, then to England and repatriated to the United States. The story of his evasion, capture and internment at http://www.evasioncomete.org/fbullwl.html

Service

People

  • Robert Burrows

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Radio Operator | 381st Bomb Group
    Damaged by ME109s on the return from a mission to Erkner, Berlin on 8 Mar 1944, B-17G #42-38029 crashed near Lettele, Holland. Prisoner of War (POW). POW

  • George Cassody

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Top Turret Gunner | 381st Bomb Group
    Damaged by ME109s on the return from a mission to Erkner, Berlin on 8 Mar 1944, B-17G #42-38029 crashed near Lettele, Holland. Prisoner of War (POW).

  • Harry Cooper

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Bombardier | 381st Bomb Group
    Damaged by ME109s on the return from a mission to Erkner, Berlin on 8 Mar 1944, B-17G #42-38029 crashed near Lettele, Holland. Evaded (EVD). Liberated in Sep 1944. POW

  • James Estep

    Military | Sergeant | Left Waist Gunner | 381st Bomb Group
    After 2 years of High School, James Estep Jr enlisted in January 1943 and followed aerial gunnery training. Sent overseas, he was assigned to the 381st Bomber Group / 532nd Bomber Squadron. He was Left Waist gunner on board B-17 # 42-38029 when it was...

  • William Kinney

    Military | Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner | 381st Bomb Group
    Damaged by ME109s on the return from a mission to Erkner, Berlin on 8 Mar 1944, B-17G #42-38029 crashed near Lettele, Holland. Evaded (EVD). Liberated in Sep 1944. POW

  • Thomas Pirtle

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Pilot | 381st Bomb Group
    After 4 years of High School, Thomas Pirtle Jr enlisted in April 1942 and followed bomber pilot training. Sent overseas, he was assigned to the 381st Bomber Group / 532nd Bomber Squadron. He was Pilot of B-17 # 42-38029 when it was shot down on the 8...

  • Paul Schlintz

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 381st Bomb Group
    Damaged by ME109s on the return from a mission to Erkner, Berlin on 8 Mar 1944, B-17G #42-38029 crashed near Lettele, Holland. Prisoner of War (POW). POW

  • Milton Stern

    Military | Navigator | 381st Bomb Group
    Pirtle, T. Crew, Luft I

  • James Warren

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Right Waist Gunner | 381st Bomb Group
    After 3 years of High School, James Warren enlisted in October 1942 and followed aerial gunnery training. Sent overseas, he was assigned to the 381st Bomber Group / 532nd Bomber Squadron. He was Right Waist gunner on board B-17 # 42-38029 when it was...

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Units served with

  • 381st Bomb Group

    381st Bomb Group

    Group
    The 381st Bomb Group flew B-17 Flying Fortresses from Ridgewell, Essex between June 1943 and April 1945. The Group was awarded two Distinguished Unit Citations, the first for bombing shipyards at Bremen, whilst under heavy attack, on 8 October 1943 and...

  • 532nd Bomb Squadron

Aircraft

  • 42-38029

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 18 July 1943; Syracuse 10 December 1943; Presque Isle 15 December 1943. Coming from Stansted Air Depot, it was assigned on 1 March 1944 to the 381st Bomb Group/532nd Bomb Squadron at Ridgewell - ID letters VE-M. 1 mission. Missing in...

Missions

  • 8th Air Force 252

    8 March 1944
    The VKF ballbearing factory at Berlin/Erkner is the primary target for 623 heavy bombers despatched by all three Air Divisions. Fighter opposition and anti-aircraft fire are intense. There are so many formation attacking that some divert to other...

Events

Event Location Date
Born Waterford, Saratoga County, New York, United States 25 September 1922
Lived in Troy, Rensselaer County, New York, United States 1942
Enlisted Albany, New York, United States 6 February 1943
bailed out of B-17 # 42-38029 near Laren, Gelderland, The Netherlands 8 March 1944
Evaded capture 8 March 1944 – 27 May 1944

Helped by Dutch patriots; crossed River Maas into Belgium; helped by Belgian patriots in Rekem, Hasselt and Liège. Was arrested in Liège 27 May 1944 when the evasion network was denounced by Belgian traitors

Prisoner of War (POW) Tychowo, Poland 27 May 1944 – May 1945

Interned at the Liège Prison, then at the Citadelle Saint-Léonard, Liège before being sent to the Dulag Luft Interrogation center and ultimately to Stalag Luft 4 in Gross Tychow-Tychowo (Poland) – Nara WWII POW database : “Returned to Military Control 24 May 1945”.

Buried Bay Pines National Cemetery, Bay Pines, Florida, United States 1988
Died St Petersburg, Florida, United States 28 March 1988

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
09 January 2017 14:12:19 ED-BB Changes to middlename, service number, biography, events, person associations, place associations and mission associations
Sources

MACR 3002
NARA WWII Enlistment records
NARA WWII POW records

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:28:26 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

381st Bomb Group Memorial Association, March 1999; MACR 3002, Losses of the 8th & 9th Air Forces / Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / MACR 3002 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database

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