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George J Ferenchak


Killed in Action (KIA). B-17G #43-38926 'Weary Willy' piloted by Lieutenant William J. Waldron was attacked by fighters. Exploded in air after being hit by enemy aircraft. Crashed in Belgium

AM w/ Oak Leaf Cluster



  • Oscar Eshleman

    Military | Lieutenant | Pilot, Co-Pilot | 487th Bomb Group
    Killed in Action (KIA). B-17G #43-38926 'Weary Willy' Exploded in air after being hit by enemy aircraft fire.

  • William Waldron

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Pilot | 487th Bomb Group
    On 24 Dec 1944, B-17G #43-38926 'Weary Willy' piloted by Lieutenant William J. Waldron was attacked by fighters and crashed in Belgium near where a tank battle raged. Waldron and Russell Neu survived and returned. ...

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Units served with

  • 487th Bomb Group

    487th Bomb Group

    The 487th Bomb Group began operations as preparations for D-Day were reaching their crescendo and played their part by bombing airfields in northern France. Like the 486th Bomb Group, the 487th switched to B-17 Flying Fortress for missions from 1...

  • 836th Bomb Squadron


  • 43-38926

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Lincoln 12/10/44; Grenier 22/10/44; Assigned 836BS/487BG Lavenham 2/12/44; Missing in Action Darmstadt 24/12/44 with ?; mid air coll with FW 190 en route target; crashed Belgium; Missing Air Crew Report 11675.


Associated Place

  • Lavenham

    Military site : airfield
    Lavenham was built as a standard USAAF bomber airfield, with fifty hardstandings, T2 hangars and 2,000 and 1,400 feet runways. John Laing and Son Ltd. carried out the work in 1943, and the airfield opened in April 1944. The 487th Bomb Group occupied...


Event Location Date
Born Lehigh County, PA, USA 23 February 1919
Enlisted Wilmington, DE, USA 12 March 1942
Died Rouvreux, 4140 Sprimont, Belgium 24 December 1944

On December 24, 1944, the 8th Air Force launched mission #760, the largest aerial mission of the war, which involved more than 2000 heavy bombers. The mission was to bomb German airfields and supply lines, to stop the German offensive in the Ardennes known as the Battle of the Bulge. The 487th Bomb Group led the entire 8th Air Force that day. Lt Waldron's crew flew B-17G 43-38926 in the number nine position in the Low Squadron of the 487th Bomb Group formation. The Group's target was the airfield at Babenhausen, Germany, but the formation was attacked by German fighters before reaching the target. S/Sgt Ferenchak and five of his crew mates were killed in action when their aircraft was shot down by German fighters south of Liege, Belgium. Three men were blown clear and survived when the aircraft exploded in the air. The B-17 crashed near Rouvreux, Belgium, about 15 miles south of Liege. Here is the roster of the Waldron crew on December 24, 1944:

Buried 1945


Date Contributor Update
05 August 2016 17:30:59 466thHistorian Changes to highest rank, events, person associations, place associations, aircraft associations and mission associations
"The History of the 487th BG" - Ivo De Jong, page 197

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:10:59 AAM AAM ingest

ABMC, Roll of Honor, The History of the 487th BG Roll of Honor pp. 302-5 and account pp 197-8 MACR 11675 / Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia /