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William F Galey


Originally assigned to 303BG/359BS as Communications Officer 15-Apr-42 at Gowen Field, Boise, Idaho. However he was reassigned to the 97BG prior to the 303BG's deployment to Molesworth in September 1942. Date of reassignment not determined.

Shot down 21 October 1942 in B-17F 41-24344 while serving as Co-Pilot. Killed in Action (KIA).


Units served with

  • 303rd Bomb Group

    303rd Bomb 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...

  • 97th Bomb Group

    97th Bomb Group

    The 97th Bomb Group flew the Eighth Air Force's first heavy bomber mission from the UK when they bombed a marshalling yard at Rouen on 17 August 1942. Just a month later though the Group were reassigned to the Twelfth Air Force and left England for the...

  • 359th Bomb Squadron
  • 414th Bomb Squadron


  • 41-24344

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Assigned 326BS/92BG Bovingdon 20-Aug-42; 414BS/97BG Polebrook 28-Aug-42; Missing in Action on mission to bomb the U-Boat pens at Lorient, France. This was 97th's first mission 21-Oct-42, shot down and crashed Plouescat, near Morlaix, France. 8KIA 2POW...


  • VIII Bomber Command 15

    21 October 1942
    German U-Boat pens are Lorient, France are the Primary (P) targets for this mission along with the German airfield at Cherbourg, France. 93BG despatches 24-B-24s to Lorient, but cloud cover prevents them from bombing. The main attack force to Lorient...

Associated Place

  • Polebrook

    Military site : airfield
    Polebrook was laid down for RAF Bomber Command use in 1940-1941. Built by George Wimpey and Co. Ltd, it had short runways which were lengthened for USAAF heavy bomber use. The RAF used the base for operational trials - including of B-17 Flying...


Event Location Date
Born Weiser, Idaho, USA
Killed in Action (KIA) Plouescat, France 21 October 1942

Missing Air Crew Report (MACR) 15352 only indicates that he was MIA. However, testimony from 1Lt. Robert E. Jackson, in that MACR record, said that a German officer showed him the ID tags of 5 of the 8 KIAs in this crew and indicated that three others were unidentified but claimed that all the KIAs from the crew had been buried.

Buried Weiser, ID 83672, USA 1945

The MACR is annotated on the Next of Kin page with the information that he was buried by the Germans in the cemetery of Plouescat, France on 27-Oct-1942 and that he was re-interred after the war at Brittany American Cemetery, St. James, France in Plot O, Row 5, Grave 106. However, the American Battle Monuments Commission's website does not have a listing, which would indicate that his remains were probably repatriated to the United States to his home state of Idaho.


Date Contributor Update
19 November 2014 21:57:46 Lee8thbuff Changes to biography and place associations

Lee Cunningham 19-Nov-2014. Assignment to 303BG was determined from the ingest of data in a DUPLICATE entry from the personnel records furnished by the Eighth Air Force Museum in Savannah, Georgia. Statement of 303BG association and disposition confirmed by Mr. Gary Moncur, website historian of 303BG, via inquiry by e-mail of Mr. Cunningham with Mr. Moncur.

Date Contributor Update
18 November 2014 22:50:29 Lee8thbuff Changes to role, biography, events, unit associations and place associations

Lee Cunningham 14-Nov-2014 Combined information from a duplicate entry drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / Roster; and MACR 15352.

Date Contributor Update
18 November 2014 18:29:58 Lee8thbuff Changes to events

Lee Cunningham 18-Nov-2014. Added Navigator Jackson to Burial description.

Date Contributor Update
18 November 2014 18:25:46 Lee8thbuff Changes to events

Lee Cunningham 18-Nov-2014. Added KIA event and Burial event per MACR 15352.

Date Contributor Update
28 October 2014 18:39:14 Lee8thbuff Changes to service number, biography, events, place associations and mission associations

Lee Cunningham 28-Oct-2014. Missing Air Crew Report (MACR) 15352.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:28:00 AAM AAM ingest

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / MACR 15352 / MACR 15352, Losses of the 8th and 9th AF Vol. 1 by Bishop and Hey, p. 38 S / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database