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William Rhodes Preddy


Killed in Action (KIA) crashed near Prague (unknown cause) in P-51 'Rusty' #4411623. Bill was flying wing to Captain Ray Reuter when the two chased a pair of ME262 jet fighters. Hoping to catch them as they landed, but failing, they decided to strafe the German Airfield at Budejovice, Czechoslovakia. Both were shot down by enemy anti-aircraft fire. However, none of their squadron mates knew what happened, so they were listed as Missing in Action (MIA) on the last mission flown by the 339th. It wasn't until 1991 that we learned their fate. The Czechs have built memorials to both because they helped liberate them from the Nazis. Lieutenant Preddy was the brother of Lieutenant George Preddy who was killed by 'friendly' fire. George was with the 352nd Fighter Group and was a top ace.

Air Medal w 3/Oak Leaf Cluster, Purple Heart, WW II Victory Medal, European Campaign Medal



  • Kenneth Moreland

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Fighter Pilot | 339th Fighter Group
    Feb. 13-Aug. 1945, hometown Ft. Dodge, IA

  • George Preddy

    Military | Major | Fighter Pilot 1055 single engine/Squadron Commander | 352nd Fighter Group
    CO 328th FS 352nd FG 4 kills (P-51D) ...

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Units served with

  • 339th Fighter Group

    339th Fighter Group

    In the years before deployment to the UK, the Group had been designated as a Bombardment Group (Dive) and trained in A-24 and A-25 dive-bombers and P-39 Airacobras. When, in April 1944, they joined the Eighth Air Force in Britain though, the pilots...

  • 503rd Fighter Squadron


Associated Place

  • Fowlmere

    Military site : airfield
    Just as nearby Duxford was known as the 'Duck pond' by American airmen, so Fowlmere was known as 'the Hen Puddle' because of the wet conditions that pervaded the bases during the winter of 1943-1944. The 339th Fighter Group had no choice but to persist...


Event Location Date
Born Greensboro, North Carolina 20 July 1924

Son of George Earle and Clara Estelle [Noah] Preddy.

Enlisted Miami Beach, FL 26 February 1943
Flight training Cuero, TX February 1944

Primary - Cuero, Texas

Flight training Waco, TX March 1944

Basic - Waco, Texas

Flight training Mission, TX 23 May 1944

Advanced - Graduated 2lt - Mission, TX Class 44-E.

E/A Destroyed Germany 2 March 1945

Claimed Fw190 and Me109 destroyed, credited 1 x kill, 1 x damaged.

Died Vicinity of Klatovy, Czech 17 April 1945


Buried Lorraine American Cemetery and Memorial 1946

Lorraine American Cemetery and Memorial
Plot A, Row 21, Grave 42


Date Contributor Update
07 January 2019 13:41:26 Al_Skiff Changes to middlename, service number and events

Date Contributor Update
09 May 2018 21:15:14 fugari Changes to media associations

JCook Photo Collection & Archives

Date Contributor Update
09 May 2018 20:31:15 fugari Changes to nickname, highest rank, role, awards, events and place associations

JCook Photo Collection & archives

Date Contributor Update
04 November 2014 12:05:51 Emily Changes to media associations

Associated Media based on FRE 338

Date Contributor Update
30 September 2014 12:52:51 PhillWray Changes to biography

Biographical text updated.

Date Contributor Update
30 September 2014 12:51:40 PhillWray Changes to biography

Updated biographical text to correct grammatical errors.

Date Contributor Update
30 September 2014 12:37:52 PhillWray Changes to awards

Awards associated from biographical information.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:28:39 AAM AAM ingest

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / MACR 13938 / MACR 13938/Joe Noah, cousin / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database / Ted Damick, VIII Fighter Command pilots list