William R BowersMilitary
From the records of William Robert Bowers.
Robert was a Tail Gunner during W.W.II with the 340th Bomb Squadron, 97th Bomb Group, 3rd Air Force. The 97th BG was established on 28 January 1942 and activated on 3 February 1942. It moved to England and was with the 8th Air Force between May and July 1942. In November 1942 it moved to the Mediterranean Theater and joined the 12th Air Force. In November 1943, it moved to the 15th Air Force. The 97th BG was inactivated in Italy on 29 October 1945. Uncle Art said Robert flew in a bomber called “Thunderbird”, which was named by its crew (Possibly Robert’s "Thunderbird" #41-24437) Robert was wounded by shrapnel two or three times, lost a lung, knocked unconscious, and had to be pulled out of the tail section by his feet. He was stationed in England, then North Africa, then Italy and participated in the invasion of Africa, bombed Germany, and destroyed oil fields in Romania. He ran out of fuel and had to ditch in the desert as well as having two planes shot out from under him. Robert’s daughter, Sue, said, “My daddy told us his stories of being in Italy, flying there, I believe he said from Germany on a bombing mission. He said they stayed in Salerno and went to the Isle of Capri.
Two Postal Telegraphs dated 25 May 1943 and 30 September 1943 were sent regarding wounds received on May 5 and September 30, 1943 state the following:
REGRET TO INFORM YOU THAT YOUR SON STAFF SARGEANT WILLIAM R. BOWERS WAS SLIGHTLY WOUNDED IN ACTION ON MAY FIVE/TWELVE SEPTEMBER IN THE NORTH AFRICAN AREA. REPORTS OF CONDITION EXPECTED EVERY FIFTEEN DAYS. YOU WILL BE ADVISED AS REPORTS ARE RECEIVED. ADJUTANT GENERAL.
(Wounded twice, on May 5th and again on September 12, 1943)
Certificate-14 January 1944
The undersigned certifies that the medical records of Staff Sergeant William R. Bowers, ASN 34289151, 340th Bomb Squadron, 97th Bomb Group, Army Air Force, show that the above enlisted man received a combat injury while on a bombing mission over Rome, Italy on 12 September 1943.
Signed: Frederick P. Maibauer, Captain, M.C. Flight Surgeon Consultant. (A mission record, #169, shows a bomb run on Aerodrome in Frosinone , Italy, 12 Sept. 1943. Flak moderate, very accurate. 11 air craft suffered flak damage. Another landed at friendly field. Four men wounded: Lt Connors, Bombardier ; Lt. Fountain, Navigator; Lt. Hanson, Bombardier, SSgt Bower (Bowers) Tail Gunner)
2nd Timothy: 2-3. Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
A word to let you know that we have not forgotten you. Written 17 December 1943 by Rev. J.K. Smith, pastor of Gillespie Avenue Baptist Church. Robert Bowers is at home now. He was wounded in North Africa, again in Sicily, and a third time in Italy. He was in the hospital in the U.S. several weeks, but is now at home for 30 days. Then he is to return to the hospital in Palm Beach, Florida. He hopes to get strong enough to return to his post in Europe. He has the distinction of being the first Knoxville boy to shoot down an enemy plane in North Africa. He has shot down three in all.
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Units served with
|Knoxville, Tennessee||1 July 1917|
|Plant City, Florida|
Joe Mode, great nephew. Military Records of William Robert Bowers. User https://www.americanairmuseum.com/user/34137
Associated images in the William Robert Bowers Collection to the airman's record.