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William E Williams

Military

Served as Tail Gunner on B-17F #42-24496 "Chennault's Pappy", 306BG/423BS. The aircraft was attacked by FW190s after leaving the target area near St. Nazaire, on 17 November 1942. The TTG Aulenbach was killed and 3 crew members were injured as the plane suffered severe damage. A/C landed at Exeter. S/Sgt Williams was uninjured and Returned to Duty (RTD).
William was serving as Tail Gunner on B-17 #42-5717 on the 16 February 1943 mission to the U-Boat pens at St. Nazaire, France. The aircraft was attacked by fighters and Pilot William Warner was killed by enemy fire. Co-Pilot Arnold Carlson continued the flight but a/c crashed near Guillac, 7km SW of Ploërmel (Morbihan), France. Killed In Action (KIA).

Service

People

  • Arnold Carlson

    Military | Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    Arnold Carlson was serving as Co-Pilot of B-17 #42-5717 on the 16 February 1943 mission to the U-Boat pens at St. Nazaire, France. The aircraft was attacked by fighters and Pilot William Warner was killed by enemy fire. Co-Pilot Arnold Carlson...

  • Edward Espitallier

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio Operator | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    Edward Espitallier was Radio Operator on B-17F-15-BO #41-24496 'Chenault's Pappy' on the 17 November 1942 mission to St. Nazaire, France. After leaving the target area, the Fortress was attacked by FW190s. The TTG Aulenbach was killed and 3 crew...

  • Robert Kisling

    Military | Sergeant | Right Waist Gunner, Waist Gunner | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    Robert Kisling was Right Waist gunner on B-17 #42-5717 on the 16 February 1943 mission to the U-Boat pens at St. Nazaire, France. The aircraft was attacked by fighters and Pilot William Warner was killed by enemy fire. Co-Pilot Arnold Carlson continued...

  • Robert Kylius

    Military | Lieutenant | Bombardier | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    Robert Kylius was Bombardier in the 306th Bomb Group/423rd Bomb Squadron and completed 12 missions. His 13th mission was on B-17 #42-5717 on the 16 February 1943 operation to the U-Boat pens at St. Nazaire, France. The aircraft was attacked by fighters...

  • Walter Morgan

    Military | Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    Walter Morgan was an original crew member on the John Barnett crew. ...

  • Colon Neeley

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    On 17 November, 1942, after leaving the target area near St. Nazaire, B-17F #41-24496 'Chenault's Pappy' 306BG/423BS was attacked by FW190s. The TTG Aulenbach was killed and 3 crew members as the plane suffered severe damage. A/C landed at Exeter....

  • Lewis Utley

    Military | Lieutenant | Navigator | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    Lewis Utley was Navigator on B-17 #42-5717 on the 16 February 1943 mission to the U-Boat pens at St. Nazaire, France. The aircraft was attacked by fighters and Pilot William Warner was killed by enemy fire. Co-Pilot Arnold Carlson continued the flight...

  • William Warner

    Military | Captain | Pilot | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    William Warner was Pilot of B-17 #42-5717 on the 16 February 1943 mission to the U-Boat pens at St. Nazaire, France. The aircraft was attacked by fighters and William was killed by enemy fire. Co-Pilot Arnold Carlson continued the flight but a/c...

  • Claiborne Wilson

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Flight Engineer | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    On 17 November, 1942, after leaving the target area near St. Nazaire, B-17F #41-24496 'Chenault's Pappy' was attacked by FW190s. The TTG Aulenbach was killed and 3 crew members as the plane suffered severe damage. A/C landed at Exeter. ...

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Units served with

  • 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers

    306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers

    Group
    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,...

  • 423rd Bomb Squadron

Aircraft

  • 41-24496 Chennault's Pappy

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    B-17F 41-24496 'Chennault's Pappy' Delivered Great Falls, Montana, force landed Nashville, Tennessee with Jim Dale; repaired & assigned 423BS/306BG Westover 15-Aug-42; Thurleigh 8-Sep-42. ...

  • 42-5717

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    B-17F-VE 42-5717 was delivered Cheyenne 13-Sep-42; New Castle 11-Oct-42; Assigned 423BS/306BG [RD-F] Thurleigh 29-Nov-1942. The aircraft was attacked by German fighters on the way to bomb the U-Boat pens at St Nazaire, France on 16 February 1943 and...

Missions

  • VIII Bomber Command 20

    17 November 1942
    The U-Boat pens at St. Nazaire, France are the Primary (P) target for a combined force of 49 B-17s despatched from 91BG (20), 303BG (16) and 306BG (13). Another element of 14 B-24s despatched from 93BG also joins the bombing force on St. Nazaire. The...

  • VIII Bomber Command 36

    16 February 1943
    The port area and U-Boat pens at St. Nazaire, France are designated as the primary target of this mission of 71 B-17s and 18 B-24s. B-17s are from 91BG (18); 303BG (15); 305BG (18); 306BG (20) of these 59 are effective on the target and 6 are lost....

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...

Events

Event Location Date
Born Jennings, Hamilton County, Florida, United States 13 May 1920
Lived in July 1941

Jasper, Hamilton County, Florida

Enlisted 14 October 1941

Jacksonville, Florida

Buried February 1943

at the Guillac cemetery, France

Killed in Action (KIA) Guillac, France 16 February 1943

Killed in action during a fighter attack on his aircraft.

Buried Brittany American Cemetery and Memorial

after the war, his remains were brought to the Brittany American Cemetery. William Williams rests at Plot I, Row 7, Grave 11.

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
05 September 2020 10:05:31 ED-BB Changes to biography, events and person associations
Sources

MACR 15472
NARA WWII Enlistment records
WWII Draft Card
ABMC website

Date Contributor Update
27 November 2014 20:01:03 Lee8thbuff Changes to biography, events and aircraft associations
Sources

Lee Cunningham 27-Nov-2014. Added KIA event per MACR 15472; made aircraft associations within existing data.

Date Contributor Update
03 November 2014 21:30:54 Lee8thbuff Changes to biography, awards, events, place associations, aircraft associations and mission associations
Sources

Lee Cunningham 3-Nov-2014. 17-Nov-24 details: "Losses of the 8th & 9th Air Forces' Stan Bishop & John A. Hey MBE; 16-Feb-43 event Missing Air Crew Report (MACR) 15472; American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC)

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:27:58 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / MACR 15472, Losses of the 8th and 9th Air Forces Volume I by Bishop and Hey p. 46, WWII Memorial web site, ABMC Web Site

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