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William H Bearden


served as combat wing and group lead Bombardier in combat. Completed 30 combat missions from 21 Jan 1944 to 19 Jul 1944. Was approved for pilot training after his completion of his combat tour with a rating of excellent performance.

Air Medal w 3/Oak Leaf Clusters; and DFC

Damaged by flak on a mission to Chateaudun airfield, FR on 28 Mar 1944, B-17G #42-37754 'Who Dat - Ding Bat' returned to base and crashed off the coast after the surviving crew baled out. RTD.


Units served with

  • 381st Bomb Group

    381st Bomb Group

    The 381st Bomb Group flew B-17 Flying Fortresses from Ridgewell, Essex between June 1943 and April 1945. The Group was awarded two Distinguished Unit Citations, the first for bombing shipyards at Bremen, whilst under heavy attack, on 8 October 1943 and...

  • 532nd Bomb Squadron
  • 534th Bomb Squadron


  • 42-37754 Who Dat - The Dingbat!

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 17/8/43; Assigned 534BS/381 BG [GD-K] Ridgewell 20/9/43; on 9th mission Rheims 28/3/44 with Dan Henry, Co-pilot: Bob Chrisler, Navigator: Fred Beardsworth, Bombardier: Rudi Jaciak, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Sebastian Quaresma,...


Event Location Date
Died 15 October 1988
Died 13 May 1991


Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:28:06 AAM AAM ingest

381st Bomb Group Memorial Association, March 1999, / 381st Bomb Group Memorial Association, March 1999, Losses of the 8th & 9th Air Forces,

href="">> / Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia