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William Herbert Brassfield

Military

William Herbert Brassfield earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering at the University of Michigan.
He worked in the manned spaceflight program.
He retired from the USAF with the rank of Colonel.

Service

People

  • Royce Bringhurst

    Military | Technical Sergeant (2nd Grade) | Radio Operator/Gunner/Togglier | 340th Bomb Group
    A world-renowned strawberry expert who headed the University of California strawberry breeding program from 1953 to 1989.

  • George Carter

    Military | Staff Sergeant (3rd Grade) | Tail Gunner | 340th Bomb Group
    The combat missions listed in this bio were gleaned from 489th BS mission records/load lists. They do not represent his complete list of combat missions.

  • Scott Herrin

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 340th Bomb Group

Units served with

  • 340th Bomb Group

    340th Bomb Group

    Group
    Activated on 20 August 1942. The 340th Bombardment Group trained with B-25's for duty overseas. They arrived in the Mediterranean theater in March 1943. Assigned first to the Ninth Air Force and later (in August 1943) to the Twelfth. Served in combat...

  • 489th Bomb Squadron

Aircraft

Associated Place

Events

Event Location Date
Born Carpenter, Kentucky 15 June 1920
Lived in Ann Arbor, Michigan 1941
Received Private Pilot's License Ann Arbor, Michigan 30 May 1941

Airman Certificate # 63289-41

USAAF Pre-Flight Training Santa Ana Army Airfield, California January 1943 – March 1943
USAAF Primary Flight Training Tulare, California March 1943 – June 1943

Rankin Airfield
School ran by the civilian company Rankin Aeronautical Academy

USAAF Basic Flight Training Merced Army Airfield, California June 1943 – August 1943
USAAF Advanced Flight Training Yuma Army Airbase, Arizona August 1943 – November 1943
USAAF Transition Training Mather Army Airfield, California November 1943
B-25 Phase Training Columbia Army Air Base, South Carolina 29 November 1943 – 31 January 1944

309th BG
376th BS

340th Bomb Group Combat Tour Alesani Airfield, Corsica 14 May 1944 – 3 January 1945

Flew 389 Combat Hours

1st Combat Mission Pontassieve, Italy 19 May 1944

Railroad Bridge
43-4101
2 hours 45 minutes

2nd Combat Mission Ficulle, Italy 25 May 1944

Railroad Bridge
43-27517
Bombs not dropped. One a/c missing due to AA fire.
2 hours

3rd Combat Mission Orvieto, Italy 26 May 1944

Railroad Viaduct
43-4101
2 hours 25 minutes

4th Combat Mission Marzabotto, Italy 27 May 1944

Highway and Railroad Bridges
43-27486 9R
Flak encountered
2:00 hours

5th Combat Mission Pisa, Italy 28 May 1944

Railroad Bridge
2 hours 25 minutes

6th Combat Mission Bucine, Italy 28 May 1944

Viaduct
9N
2 hours 45 minutes
no flak

7th Combat Mission Guarcino, Italy 30 May 1944

German road block
9N
3 hours 30 minutes
heavy and accurate flak

8th Combat Mission Narni, Italy 1 June 1944

Bridge
43-27544 9Y
1 hour 50 minutes
no flak

9th Combat Mission Foligno, Italy 2 June 1944

Railroad Bridge
43-4071 9B
2 hours 35 minutes
intense AA fire
Spitfires strafed gun positon at Perugia

10th Combat Mission Civita, Castellana, Italy 3 June 1944

Railroad Bridge
43-27659 9W
2 hours
no flak

11th Combat Mission Gricigliana, Italy 4 June 1944

Railroad Bridge
43-4071 9B
2 hours 10 minutes
no flak. German fighters observed

12th Combat Mission Narni, Italy 6 June 1944

German road block
43-27746 9E
1 hour 35 minutes
no flak

13th Combat Mission Bucine, Italy 8 June 1944

Viaduct
43-27486 9R
2 hours 10 minutes
no flak

14th Combat Mission Bucine, Italy 10 June 1944

Viaduct
43-27486 9R
1 hour 40 minutes
no flak. Gunners observed two ships shot down over Leghorn at our rear. Hole in the camera window.
Awarded his 2nd OLC to his Air Medal

15th Combat Mission Cecina, Italy 13 June 1944

Railroad Bridge
43-27667 9Z
2 hours 45 minutes
flak encountered. Perugia was target, dropped bombs on bridge at Cecina.

16th Combat Mission Pistoia, Italy 15 June 1944

Viaduct
43-27486 9R
2 hours 35 minutes
no flak

17th Combat Mission Piombino, Italy 16 June 1944

Propaganda leaflets dropped at Piombino, Sienta and Leghorn
43-27746 9E
3 hours 10 minutes
inaccurate flak at Piombino

18th Combat Mission Saviano, Italy 21 June 1944

Railroad Bridge
9I
2 Hours 5 Minutes
Intense, accurate flak
Awarded a 2nd OLC to his AM

19th Combat Mission Pietrasanta, Italy 30 June 1944

Railroad Bridge
43-27486 9R
2 hours 30 minutes
Intense, heavy accurate flak around Prado

20th Combat Mission Prato, Italy 1 July 1944

Railroad Bridge and Tunnel
43-4071 9B
2 hours 40 minutes
Moderate, inaccurate flak. Left wing ship hit

21st Combat Mission Parma, Italy 6 July 1944

Railroad Bridge
43-27667 9Z
2 hours 35 minutes
No AA fire encountered

22nd Combat Mission Ostiglia, Italy 8 July 1944

Fuel Tanks
43-27659 9W
2 hours 30 minutes
Light, accurate flak. One hole in front of upper turret

23rd Combat Mission Rovigo, Italy 11 July 1944

Rail Yard
43-4071 9B
3 hours
Inaccurate flak near the coast upon return

24th Combat Mission Chiavari, Italy 12 July 1944

Railroad Bridge
43-27486 9R
2 hours 35 minutes

25th Combat Mission Buccino, Italy 13 July 1944

Railroad Bridge
43-27486 9R
1 hour
Had to abort over Piombino due to 3 cylinders blown in #1 engine.

26th Combat Mission Castelfranco, Italy 14 July 1944

Railroad Bridge
43-27659 9W
3 hours 35 minutes
Flew as #5 ship with the 487th BS. Scant but accurate flak in the vicinity of Ferarra

He was awarded a 3rd OLC to his Air Medal.

27th Combat Mission Mantua, Italy 20 July 1944

Road and Rail Bridges
43-27638 9D
2 hours 40 minutes
Very inaccurate flak encountered over coast upon return

28th Combat Mission Cervo, Italy 25 July 1944

Railroad Bridge
43-27667 9Z
2 hours 30 minutes
no flak encountered

Aborted Combat Mission Tyrrhenian Sea 26 July 1944

43-27638 9D
Forced to abort and return due to a loose gas cap.
1 hour 5 minutes

29th Combat Mission Carisasca, Italy 27 July 1944

Road Bridge
43-27667 9Z
2 hours 30 minutes
No Flak

30th Combat Mission Canneto, Italy 1 August 1944

Railroad Bridge
43-4016 9V
2 hours 55 minutes
No AA Fire

31st Combat Mission Nice, France 6 August 1944

Railroad Bridge
43-27655 9M
2 hours 35 minutes
Heavy, intense, accurate AA fire. Hole in nose and hole under right wing
He was awarded a 4th OLC to his Air Medal

32nd Combat Mission Livron, France 7 August 1944

Railroad Bridge
43-27486 9R
3 hours 50 minutes
No AA fire

33rd Combat Mission in the vicinity of St. Tropez, France 11 August 1944

German gun positions
43-27486 9R
2 hours 35 minutes

34th Combat Mission east of Pibonson, France 12 August 1944

German gun positions
43-27638 9D
2 hours 50 minutes
No AA fire

35th Combat Mission near Le Ciotat, France 13 August 1944

German gun positions
43-27667 9Z
3 hours
Inaccurate AA fire

36th Combat Mission Le Trayas, France 15 August 1944

1st of two missions this date
Road Bridge
43-4058 9F
4 hours 20 minutes
He was awarded a 5th OLC to his AM

37th Combat Mission Avignon, France 15 August 1944

2nd mission on this date
Road Bridge
43-4058 9F
4 hours 20 minutes
Heavy, intense, accurate AA fire. 9P (Thomas Baxter & Crew) was lost.

38th Combat Mission Livron, France 16 August 1944

Railroad Bridge
43-4058 9E
3 hours 40 minutes
Lead Ship. No AA fire encountered

39th Combat Mission Avignon, France 23 August 1944

German Gun Positions
43-27486 9R
3 hours 55 minutes
Scant but accurate AA fire encountered

40th Combat Mission Cassano d'Adda, Italy 2 September 1944

Bridge
43-27486 9R
2 hours 35 minutes
Inaccurate AA fire encountered

41st Combat Mission Canneto, Italy 5 September 1944

Bridge
43-4101 9K
3 hours
No AA fire

43rd Combat Mission San Marcello Pistolese, Italy 10 September 1944

Gothic Line Defenses
43-27746 9E
2 hours 10 minutes
Scant but fairly accurate AA fire
He was awarded a 6th OLC to his Air Medal

44th Combat Mission Bologna, Italy 16 September 1944

Transport Repair Depot
43-35984 9B
3 hours 40 minutes
AA fire inaccurate
Gun positions were attached by dive bombers, fighters and B-25s with phosphorous bombs

45th Combat Mission Borgoforte, Italy 30 September 1944

Bridge
43-27486 9R
2 hours 40 minutes
AA fire fairly accurate. Did not drop bombs

48th Combat Mission Magenta, Italy 1 October 1944

Gun positions at bridge west of Milan
43-4000 9X
2 hours 45 minutes
carrying chaff and phosphorous bombs. Bombs did not release

49th Combat Mission Magenta, Italy 3 October 1944

Bridge west of Milan
43-27746 9E
3 hours 15 minutes
Heavy, intense very accurate AA fire. Holes in the bombardier's and pilot's windshields. Harper wounded in the right hand

50th Combat Mission south of Bologna, Italy 12 October 1944

Supply Dump
43-27486 9R
3 hours 15 minutes
AA fire rather intense but inaccurate

51st Combat Mission Galliate, Italy 15 October 1944

Railroad Bridge
43-27486 9R
3 hours
AA fire intense, but apparently not fired at our flight

52nd Combat Mission Magenta, Italy 18 October 1944

Railroad Bridge
43-27669 9W
AA fire scant buy fairly accurate. Did not bomb due to undercast.

54th Combat Mission Fornovo, Italy 20 October 1944

Bridge
43-27705 9N
3 hours 45 minutes
No AA fire encountered

55th Combat Misssion Villafranca d'Asti, Italy 4 November 1944

Bridge
43-27655 9M
No AA fire encountered
9E (43-27746 with Roseler Crew) crashed into the city of Allesandria

56th Combat Mission Padua Italy 5 November 1944

Bridge
43-27486 9R
3 hours 30 minutes
AA fire inaccurate

57th Combat Mission Ala, Italy 7 November 1944

Bridge
43-27486 9R
3 hours 10 minutes
AA fire scant but fairly accurate

58th Combat Mission Casale Monferrato, Italy 10 November 1944

Railroad Bridge
43-27667 9Z
2 hours 50 minutes
AA fire heavy, itense and accurate! about 15 holes in the ship

59th Combat Mission Alessandria, Italy 16 November 1944

Nickel Mission
43-35984 9B
3 hours 40 minutes
No AA fire
Lead Ship

Combat Mission Faenza, Italy 17 November 1944

Bridge
43-27667 9Z
2 hours 20 minutes
Flak inaccurate

61st Combat Mission Noska, Yugoslavia (now Croatia) 18 November 1944

Railroad Bridge
43-35984 9B
4 hours 50 minutes
No AA fire

Assigned to 140th AAF Base Unit Moody Army Airfield, Georgia 6 June 1945 – 14 July 1945

A-26 Pilot

Assigned to the 3502nd AAF Base Unit 15 July 1945 – 1 January 1947

Aircraft Maintenance Officer

Graduated Ann Arbor, Michigan June 1956

University of Michigan
Bachelor of Science
Electrical Engineering

Deputy Director For Re-Entry Systems USA Norton Air Force Base, San Bernadino, California April 1964

Plans, implements, supervises and coordinates Ballistic Missile Re-entry Systems efforts on advancement of re-entry technology and measurement of re-entry phenomena. Performs technical liaison with civilian and military agencies such as ARPA, DASA, OAR, AEC, US Army, US Navy and various AICBM and Penetration Evaluation Commitees.

Director of Engineering & Director of Titan IIIM, Manned Orbiting Laboratory Los Angeles Air Force Station, Los Angeles, California 1 August 1966 – 31 July 1968

HQ Space Systems Division
Air Force Space Command

Died Junction City, Oregon 17 December 2000
Buried Junction City, Oregon 20 December 2000

Rest Lawn Memorial Park
Junction City, Lane County, Oregon, USA

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
23 January 2022 20:01:09 466thHistorian Changes to events and aircraft associations
Sources

Brassfield Family Collection - William H. Brassfield mission diaries

Date Contributor Update
23 January 2022 19:58:38 466thHistorian Changes to events
Sources

Brassfield Family Collection - William H. Brassfield mission diaries.

Date Contributor Update
23 January 2022 03:17:57 466thHistorian Changes to events
Sources

corrected 15 August mission

Date Contributor Update
23 January 2022 03:16:28 466thHistorian Changes to events
Sources

Brassfield Family Collection - Mission Diary of William H. Brassfield

Date Contributor Update
23 January 2022 02:57:20 466thHistorian Changes to events
Sources

Brassfield Family Collection - William H. Brassfield Mission Diary.

Date Contributor Update
22 January 2022 20:50:18 466thHistorian Changes to events
Sources

added date to 17th mission

Date Contributor Update
22 January 2022 20:48:15 466thHistorian Changes to events
Sources

Brassfield Family Collection - Mission notes from William H. Brassfield's personal mission notebooks

Date Contributor Update
17 January 2022 14:59:46 466thHistorian Changes to events and aircraft associations
Sources

http://57thbombwing.com/340th_History/487th_History/missions/340thMissio...

Date Contributor Update
17 January 2022 14:36:50 466thHistorian Changes to events
Sources

http://57thbombwing.com/340th_History/487th_History/missions/100144_Piac...

Date Contributor Update
16 January 2022 22:48:56 466thHistorian Changes to events and aircraft associations
Sources

http://57thbombwing.com/340th_History/487th_History/missions/111744_Faen...

Date Contributor Update
16 January 2022 22:19:16 466thHistorian Changes to events and person associations
Sources

http://57thbombwing.com/340th_History/487th_History/missions/111044_Casa...

Date Contributor Update
12 January 2022 03:15:58 466thHistorian Changes to events
Sources

http://57thbombwing.com/340th_History/487th_History/missions/340thMissio...

Date Contributor Update
12 January 2022 03:11:22 466thHistorian Changes to events
Sources

http://57thbombwing.com/340th_History/487th_History/missions/110744_Ala.htm

Date Contributor Update
10 January 2022 19:32:29 466thHistorian Changes to events
Sources

http://57thbombwing.com/340th_History/487th_History/missions/071244_Chia...

Date Contributor Update
10 January 2022 03:41:04 466thHistorian Changes to events
Sources

http://57thbombwing.com/340th_History/487th_History/missions/070644_Parm...

Date Contributor Update
29 September 2021 20:52:55 466thHistorian Changes to events
Sources

Various original copies of HQ 12th AF General Orders

Date Contributor Update
25 September 2021 01:51:29 466thHistorian Changes to events
Sources

William Herbert Brassfield AAF Officers Qualification Record

Date Contributor Update
25 September 2021 00:00:23 466thHistorian Changes to events
Sources

Personal papers of William Herbert Brassfield

Date Contributor Update
24 September 2021 23:49:56 466thHistorian Changes to events
Sources

Private papers of William Herbert Brassfield

Date Contributor Update
22 March 2021 05:12:43 466thHistorian Changes to place associations
Sources

Added airfield

Date Contributor Update
21 March 2021 04:16:29 466thHistorian Changes to aircraft associations
Sources

added aircraft connection

Date Contributor Update
21 March 2021 04:05:06 466thHistorian Changes to unit associations
Sources

cropped image

Date Contributor Update
21 March 2021 03:56:22 466thHistorian Created entry with surname, middlename, firstname, nickname, nationality, service number, highest rank, role, biography, events and unit associations
Sources

https://www.ancestry.com/imageviewer/collections/2345/images/40014_18211...

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