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William Murray Bate


After fighter attacks set fire to the left wing on a mission to Klein Machnow, Berlin on 6 Mar 1944, B-17G #42-38024 crashed near Oldenburg, GR after the crew baled out. Prisoner of War (POW).




  • Michael Russell

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Pilot | 95th Bomb Group
    After fighter attacks set fire to the left wing on a mission to Klein Machnow, Berlin on 6 Mar 1944, B-17G #42-38024 crashed near Oldenburg, GR after the crew baled out. Prisoner of War (POW). POW

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Units served with

  • 95th Bomb Group

    95th Bomb Group

    The 95th Bomb Group was the only Eighth Air Force Group to be awarded three Distinguished Unit Citations. The first, shared by all four Bomb Wing Groups, was for the bombing of an aircraft factory under intense enemy fire at Regensburg on 17 August...

  • 336th Bomb Squadron


  • 42-30824 BOBBY JOE

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Dallas 4/8/43; Gore Fd 5/8/43; Dallas 8/8/43; Dalhart 17/8/43; Assigned 327BS/92BG [UX-R] Podington 26/9/43; Missing in Action Schweinfurt 14/10/43 with Frank Talbot, Co-pilot: Elvin Erickson, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Ed Evans,...

  • 42-31067

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 15/9/43; Assigned 534BS/381BG Ridgewell 20/10/43 BLACK WIDOW; transferred 535BS [MS-T/Q]; {67m} Returned to the USA 121 BU Bradley 8/6/45; 4168 Base Unit, South Plains, Texas 15/6/45; Reconstruction Finance Corporation (sold for...

  • 42-3462 San Antonio Rose

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 29/6/43; Dow 14/7/43; Assigned 336BS/95BG [ET-B] Horham 18/7/43; battle damaged by enemy aircraft Schweinfurt 14/10/43 with L.L. Kerr, 7RTD; Waist gunner: Robert Roy, Waist gunner: Steve Smierksi,Tail gunner: Bob Crawford (3 Prisoner...

  • 42-3529

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Hill 23/7/43; Ephrata 4/8/43; Assigned 336BS/95BG [ET-F, then T] Horham 6/10/43;Tail gunner: Vic Walek [wia] 13/12/43; 26m, Missing in Action Berlin 6/3/44 with Francis Frantz, Co-pilot: Ray Wilson, Navigator: Chas McDonald, Flight engineer...

  • 42-37988

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 5/11/43; Kearney 14/11/43; Assigned 336BS/95BG [ET-M] Horham 3/12/43; 27m, Missing in Action Berlin 29/4/44 with John Vilberg, Navigator: Adrien Caignon, Bombardier: Bill Weston, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Ralph McCleod, Radio...

  • 42-38024

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 17/11/43; Kearney 7/12/43; Presque Is 8/12/43; Assigned 336BS/95BG [ET-Q] Horham 16/12/43; with J.O. Crutchfield force landed RAF Martlesham 10/2/44; Missing in Action [13m] Berlin 6/3/44 with Mike Russell, Co-pilot: Bill Bate,...

  • 42-38151

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 29/12/43; Kearney 12/1/44; Assigned 336BS/95BG [ET-L] Horham 6/2/44; 4m, severe battle damaged Berlin 16/3/44 with Dave Norred, Co-pilot: Harry Olsen, Navigator: Ellsworth Van Fleet, Bombardier: Frank Balestrine, Flight engineer/top...

  • 42-97445

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Burbank 10/4/44; Ardmore 9/5/44; 222 BU Ardmore 22/1/45; 332 BU Ardmore 16/6/45; Reconstruction Finance Corporation (sold for scrap metal in USA) Walnut Ridge 13/11/45.


  • 8th Air Force 198

    29 January 1944
    The primary target for this mission was the railroad marshalling yards and industrial areas of Frankfurt, Germany. A combined force of 863 heavy bombers were despatched in three elements to make the attack. The combined bomber gunner claims on enemy...

  • 8th Air Force 210

    5 February 1944
    German airfield in France are the targets for this mission. All three Bomb Divisions despatch aircraft. The combined bomber gunner's claims of all three Bomb Divisions were 5-0-5 (displayed with Chateauroux element of 1BD). Summary as follows: ...

  • 8th Air Force 212

    6 February 1944
    German airfields and V-Weapon sites in France are the primary targets of this mission. A combined force total of 642 heavy bombers are depatched from 8th Air Force 1st, 2nd and 3rd Bomb Divisions. The primary targets of 1st Bomb Division were the...

  • 8th Air Force 221

    13 February 1944
    17 V-Wepons sites in France are the primary targets for this mission. The mission is divided into two separate forces: one force of B-24s from 2nd Bomb Division and one force of B-17s from 3rd Bomb Division. Mission summary follows: ...

  • 8th Air Force 226 BIG WEEK - DAY 1

    20 February 1944
    This mission is the opening salvo of the Allied Combined Bomber Offensive known officially as "Operation Argument" but remembered in 8th Air Force History as "BIG WEEK". The immediate strategic objective of this six-day operation is the degradation of...

  • 8th Air Force 230 BIG WEEK - DAY 3

    22 February 1944
    The German aircraft industry is again targeted in Day 3 of BIG WEEK. A combined total od 789 bombers (maximum effort) are despathed from 1st 2nd and 3rd Air Divisions. Fighter opposition is heavy and bomber losses in 1st Air Division are massive - 39...

  • 8th Air Force 233 BIG WEEK - DAY 5

    24 February 1944
    BIG WEEK resumes with full intensity against the German aircraft industry. Bomber tactics are changed slightly in that each Air Division will be directed at more widely dispersed primary targets whoch it is thought will frustrate concentration...

  • 8th Air Force 235 BIG WEEK - DAY 6

    25 February 1944
    On this final operation of BIG WEEK, Day 6, a combined force of 754 heavy bombers from 1st, 2nd and 3rd Air Divisions are despatched to bomb the German aircraft industries at Regensburg, Augsburg, Stuttgart and Furth, Germany. Mission Summary follows: ...

  • 8th Air Force 246

    3 March 1944
    A combined force of 748 heavy bombers are despatched to bomb the primary targets of Berlin, Erkner and Oranienburg, Germany, but weather and dense contrails forced most of the formations to turn back or seek Targets of Opportunity (TOs). 1st Combat...

  • 8th Air Force 250

    6 March 1944
    The industrial areas of Berlin and Genshagen, Germany are the primary targets for this mission. A combined force of 730 heavy bombers are despatched from 1st, 2nd and 3rd Air Divisions. The despatch from 3rd Air Division bombs Targets of Opportunity in...

Associated Place

  • Horham

    Military site : airfield
    Horham airfield was planned and built for RAF use, but handed over to the Eighth Air Force and used initially by the 47th Bomb Group. When they joined the Twelfth Air Force in January 1943, it became home to the B-26 Marauders of the 323rd Bomb Group....


Event Location Date
Born Conshohocken, PA 13 April 1922
Enlisted Philadelphia, PA 14 April 1942
Lived in Conshohocken, PA June 1942

233 E. 10th Ave

Shot Down/Captured near Colnrade, Germany 6 March 1944
POW Barth, Germany 15 June 1944 – 1 May 1945

Stalag Luft 1 Barth-Vogelsang Prussia 54-12
(dates are approximate)

Discharged Macon, GA 26 December 1945

Cochrane AAF

Died Fishkill, NY 6 October 2001


Date Contributor Update
08 August 2020 01:48:28 466thHistorian Changes to middlename, events, place associations, aircraft associations and mission associations

Date Contributor Update
05 February 2020 19:52:53 jmoore43 Changes to service number and events

Added S/N and POW camp information from WW2 POW records at the National Archives (NARA).

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:28:30 AAM AAM ingest

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / MACR 2984 / MACR 2984, Losses of the 8th & 9th Air Forces / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database