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LT  WILLIAM L. BOWEN

UNIT: 351st BOMB Sqdn POSITION: CP
SERIAL #: STATUS: CPT
MACR:

Comments1: HUNTINGTON, WW

COMMENTS & NOTES

MEMO 1:

CREW

CAPT JOSEPH L. ZELLER              P FEH (CO OF 418TH)
2ND LT WILLIAM L. BOWEN      CP  FEH
2ND LT GEORGE E. BONITZ      NAV EVA 20 JUL 44  MERSEBURG (WITH THE F.C. KINCANNON CREW)
F/O D.L. WHITE                      BOM CPT 12 SEP 44  MADGEBURG
S/SGT DANIEL A. LYNCH          TTE CPT 12 SEP 44  MADGEBURG  TAPS: 14 JAN 1964
S/SGT HARRY J. HENDRICKS     ROG CPT 08 SEP 44  MAINZ
SGT MAX FRIEDMAN                 BTG NOC      TAPS: 7 MAY 1983
SGT CHARLES L. GRIMES           WG NOC
SGT WILLIAM V. LOMBARDI       WG NOC
SGT WILLARD R. FREDERICK         TG NOC      TAPS: 28 AUG 1989

351ST SQDN... CREW, AS ABOVE, JOINED THE 100TH ON  09 MAR 1944.
ZELLER BECAME COMMANDING OFFICER OF THE 418TH AFTER MAGEE FULLER WAS LOST ON 20 JUL 44 (MERSEBURG, OIL REFINERY)
ACCORDING TO RECORDS IN OPS, 2ND LT WILLIAM L. BOWEN FLEW WITH LT S.D. EICHEN CREW ALSO AS CP

Lt Bowen flew with Capt Zeller Crew in Skipper II 42-31708 on the following missions

March 16, 1944  Augsburg 
March 18, 1944  Lechfeld  
March 19, 1944  Marquise, Mimmoyeques    
March 22, 1944  Berlin (returned with serious battle damage)
March 23, 1944  Brunswick (flying 31389 which was later named " Lucious Lucy")
March 27, 1944  Bordeaux
March 28, 1944  Chateaudun

It appears that Capt Zeller's Crew became a Lead Crew in April 1944 and Lt Bowen was transferred to the crew of Lt Seymour Eichen

CREW

LT SEYMOUR D. EICHEN       P CPT JULY 1944
LT ANDREW J. BURKHART     CP POW 25 JUL 44 ST LO GND SUPPORT  (with Lt Townsends crew)
LT JOSEPH J. DEVINE         NAV CPT JULY 1944
F/O LUDVIC J. SVETLIK       BOM CPT JULY 1944
T/SGT RICHARD J. O'NEIL    ROG CPT 13 JUL 44 MUNICH, JET ENGINES
T/SGT ROBERT H. TUCKER   TTE CPT JULY 1944
S/SGT FORREST J. BRANAGAN BTG CPT 13 JUL 44 MUNICH, JET ENGINES
S/SGT HAROLD W. RUPPERT    WG NOC (replaced by S/Sgt Wiliam "Cut and Shoot" Hoffman)
S/SGT JAMES H. SAUER           WG CPT JULY 1944
S/SGT CHARLES E. RATHBUN     TG CPT JLUY 1944

351ST SQDN.. CREW JOINED THE 100TH IN MARCH 1944. IT IS KNOWN THAT EICHEN FLEW 35 SORTIES IN "ALL AMERICAN GIRL."
S/Sgt William "Cut and Shoot" Hoffman flew Right Waist Gunner on this crew
According to Glenn Rake, 2nd Lt Burkhart (from Lt Eichen Crew) filled in as CP on his crew some missions. 
ACCORDING TO RECORDS IN OPS, 2ND LT WILLIAM L. BOWEN FLEW WITH LT S.D. EICHEN CREW AS CP.  LT BOWEN IS FROM CAPT JOSEPH "FUZZY" ZELLER CREW.  

"S/Sgt William Hoffman started his Career in a B-26 Marauder Group but ended up at 3rd Air Division Headquarters upon arrival in England.  He was assigned as the Driver for General Nathan Forrest.  Bill said this man was a "soldiers General" because he got along real well with both officers and enlisted men. Bill said it was a sad day when the General did not return.  He was leading a mission to Keil, flying with the 95th Bomb Group who were stationed at Framlingham at the time.  Gen Forrest's plane was hit by enemy fighters and one engine was knocked out forcing the plane to lose airspeed but his plane seemed to catch up when enemy fighters attacked again.  General Forrest was the 1st General lost in the Air War.  He was one of Gen Eakers original 7 to come over and start the 8th Air Force. S/Sgt Hoffman was so mad at the loss of his General that he volenteered for Gunnery school in England (up near the Walsh).  Upon completion of training, Bill was assigned to the 100th Bomb Group as a spare gunner.  His first mission was as tail gunner on a plane piloted by Jack Swartout.  Bill's recollection of that first mission "How did a good ole Texas boy end up in a place like this"!  He could have stayed at 3rd AD HQ but chose to fight like his General.  S/Sgt William Hoffman said that he believes something happened to the TTE Tucker and one of the WG took his place.  Bill then became the new Waist Gunner on the Crew until they completed their mission.  Bill still had to fly 3 additional missions with other crews to complete his tour of duty".
                                    (as related to mpf in conversation with William Hoffman, Nov. 2000)


Missions flown by Lt Bowen with Lt Eichen Crew.

April 10, 1944  Rheims          42-39983 "Katie"
April 11, 1944  Posen           42-31412 "Mason and Dixon"
April 12, 1944  Schkeuditz    42-37936 "The All American Girl"
April 13, 1944  Augsburg      42-37936 "The All Amercian Girl" 
May 7, 1944    Berlin            42-37936 "The All American Girl"
May 12, 1944  Brux             42-31767  "Our Gal Sal"
May 13, 1944  Osnabruck     42-37936  "The All American Girl"
May 19, 1944  Berlin            42-37936  "The All American Girl"
May 20, 1944  Brussels         42-37936  "The All Amercan Girl"
June 4, 1944  Boulogne       42-107095  no name
June 6, 1944  Falaise           42-30152    "Messie Bessie"  D-Day
June 7, 1944  Nantes          42-102977   No Name (eventually called Traps for Capt Joseph Trapnell in July 44)
June 19, 1944 Corme          42-102977   No Name
June 26, 1944 Drohobycz    42-102977   No Name (Start of First Russian Shuttle Mission)
July 3, 1944    Arad            42-102977   No Name (Fly from Russia to Italy and bomb target in Rumania)
July 5, 1944    Beziers         42-102977   No Name (Fly from Italy back to England)

MEMO 2:

KIA / MIA / EVA / INT INFORMATION:

TARGET: DATE:  
AIRCRAFT: CAUSE:  

BURIAL INFORMATION

PLOT: ROW:  
GRAVE: CEMETERY:  

PHOTOS:

Capt Joseph Zeller crew. taken Jan.10, 1944. Fonville studio Ardmore Okla.  Front Row L-R 
Cap JOSEPH L. ZELLER -P (CO OF 418TH),  2nd LT WILLIAM L. BOWEN -CP, 2nd LT GEORGE E. BONITZ -NAV, F/O D.L. WHITE- BOM .  Photo courtesy of Dennis L. White, Son of D.L. White. 

 

SERVED IN:

Crew 1

ID: 463