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William C Heller

Military

Completed 35+ missions went on to fly with Luftstanda Airlines for 15 years, met Gen. Galland on one of his flights and became good friends. He flew as an airline captain with other airlines for a total of 35 years. Was also chief pilot, FAA & CAA Designee. 15 Oct 1943 A/C accident on return from mission in 'Thumper Again' B-17#42-5393.

Service

People

  • Keith Estes

    Military | First Lieutenant | Navigator | 303rd Bomb Group
    Assigned to 359BS, 303BG, 8AF USAAF. 15 x missions. Ended Tour Duty (ETD). Awards: WWII Victory, EAME.

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Units served with

  • 8th Air Force

    8th Air Force


    Eighth Air Force Bomber Command became the Eighth Air Force on February 1944, it oversaw bombardment of strategic targets in Europe until 1945. ...

  • 303rd Bomb Group

    303rd Bomb Group

    Group
    The 303rd Bombardment Group (Heavy) was activated on 3-Feb-1942 at Pendleton Field, Oregon. They assembled at Gowen Field, Idaho on 11-February 1942 where it conducted flight training until 12-Jun-1942. The Group then moved to Alamogordo Field, New...

  • 360th Bomb Squadron

Aircraft

  • 42-29931 Satan's Workshop

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 13/3/43; Casper 28/3/43; Tinker 10/4/43; Memphis 16/4/43; Assigned 418BS/100BG [LD- ] Thorpe Abbotts 9/6/43 JAYBIRD; transferred 360BS/303BG [PU-L] Molesworth 13/7/43; Missing in Action Bernburg 22/2/44 with George Underwood, Co...

  • 42-5393 'Just For Laughs' aka 'Little Woman' aka 'Thumper Again'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Tulsa 29/11/42; Morrison 6/2/43; Assigned 360BS/303BG [PU-G] Molesworth 25/2/43; took off from RAF Kenley following previous day’s raid, but involved in landing accident at RAF North Luffenham after getting lost en route to base 15/10/43;...

  • 42-5854 'Alley Oop'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Long Beach 23/3/43; Kearney 15/4/43; Wendover 2/5/43; Dow Fd 27/5/43; Assigned 418BS/100BG 30/5/43 Thorpe Abbotts; transferred 360BS/303BG [PU-C] Molesworth 13/7/43; 28m 1 Base Air Depot, Burtonwood 5/4/44; Returned to the USA Tinker 6/6/44;...

  • 44-8568

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 20/10/44; Hunter 6/12/44; Grenier 20/12/44; Assigned 358BS/303BG [VK-X] Molesworth 22/1/45; RetUS, Reconstruction Finance Corporation (sold for scrap metal in USA) Walnut Ridge 28/12/45.

Associated Place

  • Molesworth

    Military site : airfield
    Molesworth was one of the early stations used by the Eighth Air Force in the UK, first occupied by the 15th Bomb Squadron’s Douglas Bostons in June 1942. Built in 1940 and extended and improved in 1942, Molesworth is most associated with the 303rd...

Events

Event Location Date

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
21 October 2020 20:18:29 jmoore43 Changes to aircraft associations
Sources

Added a connection to A/C #42-5854 per info in the book "Half a Wing, Three Engines And a Prayer" by "Brian D. O’Neill" on page 211.

Date Contributor Update
21 October 2020 18:28:54 jmoore43 Changes to biography
Sources

Added a "-" to the A/C type in the "Summary biography" to aid clarity & consistency.

Date Contributor Update
27 January 2018 14:21:24 Al_Skiff Changes to unit associations, place associations and aircraft associations
Sources

Key Image ID.

Date Contributor Update
27 January 2018 13:56:37 Al_Skiff Changes to service number
Sources

Key Image ID.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:27:46 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / Mighty Eighth Air Force Heritage Museum Membership List, July 2000/ short resume with 303rd, Losses of the 8th & 9th AFS Vol. I p. 343

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