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William M Shoemaker


Killed while engaged in firefighting operations when a Halifax bomber crashed and then exploded near Duxford Airbase, England. Lt Shoemaker was appointed Commanding Officer when the 2027th Engineer Fire Fighting Platoon was activated at Harding Field in August 1943, crossing the Atlantic to Duxford three months later. He also directed fire-fighting when B 17 42-102937 crashed into buildings killing 13 at Duxford in July 1944.



  • Bruce Rutledge

    Military | First Lieutenant | 2027th Commanding Officer (Nov 44 - Apr 45)

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Units served with

Associated Place

  • Duxford

    Military site : airfield
    RAF Duxford, now a museum and still a working airfield, was operated by the USAAF from 1943 to 1945. The base was briefly the home of the 350th Fighter Group in late 1942, but it was not until April 1943 that it became a fully American station when the...


Event Location Date
Died Duxford, Cambridge CB22, UK 3 September 1944

Killed while directing fire-fighting after a RCAF Halifax - laden with bombs - exploded after crashing at Pampisford Wych near Duxford. Two Military Police and a senior officer from 66th FW were also killed. The explosion left a 45-foot wide crater.


Date Contributor Update
25 August 2019 12:57:20 miAmigo Changes to biography and events

US Army Fire Trucks at War Association.

Date Contributor Update
17 November 2016 13:58:27 usaeff Changes to service number, role, biography and events

Fire Trucks At War:
Army Firefighting website:

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:28:32 AAM AAM ingest

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / Duxford Diary