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S/SGT  Wilbur F. WILLIAMS

UNIT: 349th BOMB Sqdn POSITION: WG
SERIAL #: STATUS: CPT
MACR:

Comments1: 9 SEP 44 DUSSELDORF

COMMENTS & NOTES

MEMO 1:

CREW

2ND LT FERDINAND J. HERRES             P CPT 11 SEPT  44 RUHLAND, OIL REFINERY
2ND LT DONALD J. ROTH                CP KIA 05 JUNE   44 BOULOGNE, FR (WITH LT MARK WILSON CREW)
2ND LT ALVIN F. RINGHOFER         NAV CPT 11 SEPT  44 RUHLAND, OIL REFINERY sn# 0-708377
2ND LT BURROUGHS E. CONOVER    BOM CPT 11 SEPT  44 RUHLAND, OIL REFINERY
S/SGT ROBERT M. MULGREW           TTE CPT 11 SEPT  44 RUHLAND, OIL REFINERY
S/SGT JAMES A. MORROW            ROG CPT 11 SEPT  44 RUHLAND, OIL REFINERY
SGT DUELL B. BARNES                  BTG CPT 11 SEPT  44 RUHLAND, OIL REFINERY
SGT NESTER J. NESSER                 WG CPT 11 SEPT  44 RUHLAND, OIL REFINERY
SGT WILBUR F. WILLIAMS              WG CPT 09 SEPT 44 DUSSELDORF (WITH LT GEORGE ALLEN CREW)
SGT ANDREW R. MAIN                    TG CPT 11 SEPT  44 RUHLAND, OIL REFINERY

349TH SQDN.. CREW, AS ABOVE JOINED THE 100TH ON 18 APR 1944.  AIRCRAFT #43-37823 "NOW AND THEN"
SGT WILLIAMS WAS TAKEN OF THE CREW WHEN IT WAS REDUCED FROM 10 TO 9 MEN.  DATE UNKNOWN.

ON THE 11 SEP 44 MISSION TO RUHLAND THIS CREW HAD A ENGINE FIRE ENROUTE TO THE TARGET AND WERE FORCED TO ABORT THE MISSION. UNABLE TO ESTINGUISH THE FIRE, THE CREW BAILED OUT OVER SOUTHERN ENGLAND.  ALL CREW MEMEBERS WERE SAFE AND THE A/C CRASHED ON THE ISLE OF SHEPPY....jb

Overseas trip (B-17): Kearny, Nebraska to Bangor Maine to Goose Bay, Labrador to Meeks Field, Iceland to Pretwick, Scotland.  Train from Prestwick, Scotland to Stone England to Diss, England.  Truck from Diss to Thorpe Abbotts, England April 18, 1944. Note: Meeks Field, Iceland. Built during WWII as U.S. Air Base at to town of Keflavik, SW Iceland (22 miles SW of Reykjavik, Iceland).  Turned over to Iceland October 1946 and renamed Keflavik Field now an international airport.

::::::::::::::::::::::::::::
100th BOMB GROUP TAPS REPORT
::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

Submitter's Name: Stephanie McCollum
Submitter's Email: STEPHKEY@aol.com
Submitter's Relationship: Grandchild
=========================
Veteran's Name: Wilbur Forrest Williams
Death Date: March 8, 2002
Veteran's Unit: 349th
Veteran's Position: Waist Gunner
=========================
Family Contact Information: Annalee Williams Mikels
(440) 846-2690
Comments: 

 Operational Missions of Lt Ferd Herres, 100th Bomb Group, 349th Squadron (mpf 2003)

1. 25/04/44 DIJON, AIRFIELD,  FR.
2. 26/04/44 BRUNSWICK, GER.
3.   28/04/44   CHERBOURG, FR (SOTTEVAST IN OUR RECORDS)
4. 29/04/44 BERLIN, GER.
5. 07/05/44 BERLIN, GER.
6. 08/05/44 BERLIN, GER.
7. 09/05/44 LAON/COUVRON, FR.
8. 11/05/44 LIEGE, BELG.
9. 13/05/44 OSNABRUCK, GER. (FIRST GROUP LEAD)
10. 28/05/44 MEGDEBURG, GER, 
11. 31/05/44 OSNABRUCK, GER.
12. 06/06/44 FALAISE, FR (D-DAY)
13. 12/06/44 LE ARLOT, BELGIUM
14. 18/06/44 BRUNSBUTTELKOG, GER.
15. 20/06/44 BERLIN-FALLERSLEBEN, GER.
16. 21/06/44 BERLIN-BASDORF, GER.
17. 22/06/44 PARIS, FR. 
18. 24/06/44 ROUEN, FR.
19. 25/06/44 NO-BALL, FR., (MAQUIS SUPPLY DROP)
20. 06/07/44 PAS DE CALAIS, FR.
21.   07/07/44   LEIPZIG-GOTTINGEN, GER.
22.   13/07/44   MUNICH, GER.      
23. 18/07/44 KIEL, GER.
24. 20/07/44 MERSEBURG, GER.
25. 21/07/44 REGENSBURG, GER.
26. 24/07/44 NORMANDY-ST LO, FR.
27. 25/07/44 NORMANDY-ST LO, FR.
28. 31/07/44 MUNICH, GER.
29. 04/08/44 HAMBURG, GER.
30. 11/08/44 PARIS-VILLACOUBLAY, FR.
31. 14/08/44 LUDWIGSHAVEN, GER.
32. 27/08/44 BERLIN, GER.
33. 11/09/44 RUHLAND, CZECH REPUBLIC; ON FIRE-BAIL OUT OVER THE STRAITS OF DOVER; LANDED AT MANSTON BASE IN ENGLAND.


 Operational Missions of 2nd Lt Alvin Ringhofer (provided by Margaret A. Ringhofer, mpf 2002) 

1. 25/04/44 DIJON, FR.
2. 26/04/44 BRUNSWICK, GER.
3. 29/04/44 BERLIN, GER.
4. 07/05/44 BERLIN, GER.
5. 08/05/44 BERLIN, GER.
6. 09/05/44 COUVRON, FR.
7. 11/05/44 LIEGE, BELG.
8. 13/05/44 OSNABRUCK, GER
9. 28/05/44 MEGDEBURG, GER, GERA, SECONDARY TARGET
10. 31/05/44 OSNABRUCK, GER
11. 06/06/44 FALAISE, FR (D-DAY)
12. 12/06/44 ROSIERES, FR.
13. 14/06/44 LeCULOT, BELG.
14. 18/06/44 BRUNSBUTTELKOG, GER.
15. 19/06/44 ECLUSE, FR.
16. 20/06/44 FALLERSLEBEN, GER.
17. 21/06/44 RUHLAND, GER (START OF 1st RUSSIAN SHUTTLE MISSION)
18. 26/06/44 DROHOBYZ, POLAND
19. 03/07/44 ARAD, ROMANIA 
20. 05/07/44 BEZIERS, FR (RETURN FROM RUSSIAN SHUTTLE MISSION)
21. 07/07/44 MERSEBURG, GOTTINGEN, ST. GER.
22.` 18/07/44 KIEL, GER.
23. 19/07/44 SCHWEINFURT, GER.
24. 20/07/44 MERSEBURG, GER.
25. 21/07/44 LUDWIGSHAVEN, GER.
26. 24/07/44 ST LO, FR.
27. 25/07/44 ST LO, FR.
28. 31/07/44 MUNICH, GER.
29. 04/08/44 HAMBURG, GER.
30. 11/08/44 VILLACOUBLAY, FR.
31. 14/08/44 LUDWIGSHAVEN, GER.
32. 27/08/44 BERLIN, GER.
33. 11/09/44 RUHLAND

SHUTTLE (OPERATION FRANTIC) BOMBING MISSIONS JUNE 21, 1944 THRU JULY 5, 1944.
LANDINGS:
              MIRGOROD, RUSSIA
              KHARKOV, RUSSIA
              KIROVOGRAD, RUSSIA
              FOGGIA, ITALY

Operation narrative from Lt Ringhofer Sept 11, 1944, Ruhland:

On Sept. 11, 1944 we departed on our last required mission (#33) at 0754 for Ruhland, Germany leading the high squadron.  When we reached the other side of the Rhine River about 10 miles south of Koblenz, Germany our #3 engine ran away.  The pilot, Ferd Herres couldn't feather the propeller and as a result, it began to windmill.  We lost altitude to 18,000 feet therefore lost the formations we let down over the North Sea.  The remaining B-17's continued on towards the target.  My compass would not work so we used the pilots  mag compass for a heading home.  We dropped our bombs at 1106 to lighten the load.  We could not maintain an airspeed of 125 miles per hour for fear of overheating the engine and catching it on fire.  My altimeter and air speed meter were not operating.  We did well getting back to England, little flak and no enemy fighters.  We approached England above Dover at 1302.  Within a half a minute after turning to heading to Thorpe Abbotts (our home base) the engine caught fire.  The pilot gave orders to bail out at 1305 (16,000 feet) in the vacinity of Ramsgate Canterbury and Margate.  I followed the Bombardier out and hit my chest on the open bomb bay doors before I pulled my rip cord.  The pilot, co-pilot and engineer stayed with the plane and tried to put out the fire but to no avail so they jumped too.  There were few clouds but I did float downward through a cloud and couldn't see a thing, wondering if I might end up in the North Sea.  As I came near the ground, I just missed some high tension wires.  Three Sargeants saw me floating down and came in their jeep to see if I was ok. They took me to our their base (Mansdan airfield) where all the members of our crew finally met.  We called the 100th Bomb Group for a plane and more parachutes to take us back to Thorpe Abbotts.  I learned then that the pilot had set up the auto pilot and headed the aircraft out to the North Sea.

The injuries suffered by the crew were cartilage tears from the ribs (navigator), bruised groin (bombardier, who also hit the open bomb bay doors upon bailing out), foot bruises (tail gunner, radio operator), broken bone in foot upon hitting the ground (waist gunner).  All were x-rayed the next day).  When we talked to Intelligence at Thorpe Abbotts we were informed that all 11 of the formation who continued on toward the target were shot down.  Weren't we the lucky crew!!  These eleven plus the loss of our plane is the sum of 12 lost.  


CREW
           A/C # 42-31987  "SHILAYEE"

2ND LT MARK V. WILSON      P  POW 5 JUN 44  BOULOGNE
2ND LT CHARLES E. ADAMS  CP  CPT WITH STANLEY CLARK CREW
2ND LT JOHN T. JOHNSON  NAV  KIA       5 JUN 44  BOULOGNE
2ND LT RALPH A. KROENKE  BOM  POW 5 JUN 44  BOULOGNE
S/SGT EUGENE V. SWEENEY  ROG  POW 5 JUN 44  BOULOGNE
S/SGT JOHN W. McAULIFFE  TTE  POW 5 JUN 44  BOULOGNE
   SGT DONALD M. ROHASEK  BTG  POW 5 JUN 44  BOULOGNE
   SGT WILLIAM E. MORELAND RWG  POW 5 JUN 44  BOULOGNE
   SGT GEORGE B. DONAHUE  LWG  NOC
   SGT CECIL G. DAVIS  TG  POW 5 JUN 44  BOULOGNE

349th Sqdn.  Crew, as above, joined the 100th Group on 21 Feb 1944.  On 5 Jun 1944, Lt. Donald Roth, CP on the F.J. Herres crew, was flying in place of C.E.Adams and was KIA.  S/Sgt Glover Nall, from the J.A. Harrison crew, was flying in place of G.B.Donhoue and became a POW.

See MACR #5384; Microfiche # 1957


CREW

   Lt George S.Allen               P    CPT     9/9/44    DUSSELDORF                                        sn# 0-753839
   Lt Orton H.Symer,Jr.        CP   CPT     9/9/44  DUSSELDORF                                        sn# 0-819210   
   Lt Thomas J. Tracy       NAV    KIA     24/5/44     BERLIN (with Lt Clarke T. Johnson Crew)
   Lt William A.Stewart      BOM    CPT    9/9/44  DUSSELDORF                                         sn# 0-759879
T/Sgt Robert A. Monroe    ROG   RFS     15/8/44    VENLO (after 30 missions)                        sn# 39313008          
T/SgtWiilliam M..Oberman   TTE    CPT    9/9/44  DUSSELDORF                                          sn# 36635419   
S/Sgt Richmond L.Bessey    BTG   CPT    9/9/44  DUSSELDORF                                          sn# 31200232
Sgt Stanley Gottlieb              WG     RFS     Air Sickness (flew one mission) 
Sgt David Jacques                 WG     RFS     Was left in Base Hospital in Bangor Maine
S/Sgt Ray A. Matz                 WG   RFS     Assigned to Crew upon arrival to replace Jacques          sn# 33230747
S/Sgt Lester Jackson             TG     WIA     29/7/44    Merseburg 

349th Sqdn. Assigned in April 1944.  Appears as  Crew #12 on Combat Crew Roster of 11/8/44.

Lt Eluid J.Knapp  NAV (from the James W. McGuire Crew) was one of many Navigators to fly with Lt Allen's Crew.  He  CPT his 
tour with the Allen Crew on 24/8/44-RUHLAND.   S/Sgt Wilbur F.Williams, TG  (from Lt Herres Crew) replaced Sgt Jackson after Jul 29, 1944.  He CPT his tour on 9/9/44-DUSSELDORF with Allen Crew.  After one mission, Sgt Gottlieb was removed from flying staus due to air sickness and replaced by S/Sgt John Wargo (from Lt Becktoft Crew) and completed his missions on Jun 18, 1944-BRUNSBUTTELKOOG.
Upon completion of his tour, S/Sgt Ray Matz was replaced on the crew by S/Sgt Joeseph Costanza (from Lt John Keys Crew).  His first mission with the crew was Aug 15, 1944 to Venlo and his last was Sept 9, 1944 to Dusseldorf. Joe was from NYC and he fit in with the crew well.  He almost cried when we finished our tour, as he had more missions to go and dreaded flying with a new Crew.  He did complete his tour on Oc 4, 1944-NURNBURG, Crew unknow.  We had several different Navigators (Tracy, Knapp, Holmes), we never did get to know them well.  Ray Matz was grounded around the end of July due to combat fatigue.  Bob Monroe was grounded after 30 missions for the same reason.  They both went home.  The replacements were not billeted in our hut so I didn't get to know them very well.  We only spoke to one another before we went on a mission, and then we were all busy cleaning our guns, checking ammo and such.  These chores were done in darkness… courtesy of S/Sgt William Oberman and son Mark  (mpf 2002)     

CREW  (Pick up Crew)

LT G. S. ALLEN             PILOT 
LT O. H. SYMER            CO-PILOT
LT A. I. HOLMES           NAVIGATOR         (from Lt Lawrence Townsend Crew)
LT W.A. STEWART         BOMBARDIER
T/SGT R.A. MONORE     RADIO OPERATOR
T/SGT W. M. OBERMAN   FLIGHT ENGINEER
S/SGT R. L. BESSEY       BALL TURRET GUNNER
S/SGT R. PATRICK         WAIST GUNNER  (flying spare gunner, from Lt Cowan Crew)
S/SGT J. P. WARGO       WAIST GUNNER  (Replacement for Sgt Gottlieb) 
S/SGT L. E. JACKSON     TAIL GUNNER     (original Crew member)


Missions Flown by S/Sgt William Oberman (mpf 2002)

      DATE             TARGET                  BOMB LOAD

1.    25/05/44       BRUSSELS                38-100 LBS
2.    27/05/44       STRASSBOURG         38-100 LBS
3.    28/05/44       MAGDEBURG            12-500 LBS
4.    29/05/44       LEIPZIG                   12-500 LBS
5.    31/05/44       OSNABRUCK             6-1000 LBS
6.    02/06/44       PARIS                      12-500 LBS
7.    04/06/44       BOLOUGNE               12-500 LBS
8.    05/06/44       BOLOUGNE               12-500 LBS
9.    06/06/44       D-DAY                      12-500 LBS
10.  07/06/44       NANTES                    2-2000 LBS
11.  18/06/44       BRUNSBUTTELKOOG   10-500 LBS
12.  19/06/44       CORME ECLUSE          10-500 LBS
13.  20/06/44       FALLERSLEBEN           2-2000 LBS
14.  21/06/44       RUHLAND                  10-500 LBS
15.  26/06/44       DROHOBYCZ              10-500 LBS
16.  03/07/44       ARAD                        10-500 LBS
17.  05/07/44       BEZIERS                    5-1000 LBS
18.  07/07/44       BOHLEN                    10-500 LBS
19.  18/07/44       KIEL                         10-500 LBS
20.  19/07/44       SCHWEINFURT           10-500 LBS
21.  21/07/44       LUDWIGSBURG           10-500 LBS
22.  24/07/44       ST LO                       38-100 LBS
23.  25/07/44       ST LO                       38-100 LBS
24.  28/07/44       MERSEBURG               10-500 LBS
25.  29/07/44       MERSEBURG               20-250 LBS
26.  03/08/44       TROYES                    6-1000 LBS
27.  06/08/44       BERLIN                      10-500 LBS
28.  11/08/44       VILLACOUBLAY           38-100 LBS
29.  13/08/44       NANTES                     36-100 LBS
30.  15/08/44       VENLO                       36-100 LBS
31.  24/08/44       RUHLAND                   
32.  27/08/44       BERLIN (RECALL)
33.  30/08/44       BREMEN        
34.  08/09/44       MAINZ                        
35.  09/09/44       DUSSELDORF 

"On June 7 1944 mission to Nantes, two engines and Tail Gunners oxygen were knocked out over target. We landed at a RAF glider base, about 40 miles south of London.  We threw ammo and guts of machine guns and radio receivers our as radio man did not need to contact to contact base.  This was done to maintain altitude... 

On July 29, 1944 Merseburg mission, we led the low squadron that day and had an engine knocked out on the bombing run.  The Group did not drop bombs on target area as pathfinder ship could not locate target.  Our pilot radioed planes in our squadron t catch up with the main group, since we only had 3 engines and could not keep up.  Shortly after, the planes pulled away from us, we were hit by German Jets (ME262). You will read jets did not come up until Aug 44.  The came in directly behind our tail and a little high.  Our tail gunner (Jackson)  had crawled into the waist with a walk around bottle. His oxygen was knocked our and he was wounded in the ankle...

The leader of the jets came in first and my guns would not fire as long as they were aiming at any part of our own ship  (fire cut-off cam in gun sight).  I held trigger down and as soon as the guns cleared our plane.  They began to fire, I gave him a few short bursts and he was gone.  He flew out of range to our left and a little high.  He must of radioed his buddies and told them our tail guns were not operating.  Then they came at us one at a time, directly behind the tail.  I gave each one a short burst, then I'd have to pick up the next attacker.  By the time Matz (WG) got back into the tail (filling in for injured TG), they were gone.  I always wondered why they never pressed the attack further.  Our pilot probably saved us by putting the plane in a shallow dive and using evasive maneuvers.  The Jets formed up again and attacked the five planes that were flying with us.  They knocked every one of the five planes out of the sky and left.  Because the pilot put the plane in a dive, we picked up speed and caught up with another group flying at a lower altitude…

We didn't stay with them as we could not keep up after he leveled off. Flying by ourselves was very lonely.  Pilot then asked me to fire the vari pistol for fighter protection.  I don't remember the color of the day as colors were changed every mission.  After firing a few shots at a few minute intervals, 2 P-47's (our little friends as we called them) pulled up along side and they circled around us until their gas supply ran low and they had to leave.  What a beautiful sight that was having the 47's with us…

Since no bombs were dropped on the target area our bombardier dropped his bombs on a target of opportunity on our way home.  At the time of the attack, our bombardier was in the waist giving first aid to tail gunner Jackson… " 
                                                                                                                              courtesy of S/Sgt William Oberman (mpf 2002)

MEMO 2:

KIA / MIA / EVA / INT INFORMATION:

TARGET: DATE:  
AIRCRAFT: CAUSE:  

BURIAL INFORMATION

PLOT: ROW:  
GRAVE: CEMETERY:  
ID: 5542