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LT  Clifton M. WILLIAMS

UNIT: 351st BOMB Sqdn POSITION: P

 Clifton M. Williams, Pilot Detailed Information Photo courtesy of Francois Dewaide, Netherlands 

SERIAL #: O-823499 STATUS: KIA
MACR: 11363 CR: 11363

Comments1: 31 DEC 44 HAMBURG (MID AIR WITH 42-31066)

COMMENTS & NOTES

MEMO 1:

CREW

Lt Clifton M.Williams              P   KIA     31/12/44 HAMBURG
Lt Kenneth W.Newkirk         CP  KIA     31/12/44 HAMBURG
Lt Richard F.Williams          NAV KIA    31/12/44 HAMBURG                         A/C #43 38124
Lt Lawrence W.Ward       BOM  POW  31/12/44 HAMBURG                      MACR #11363,Fiche #4182
T/S/Sgt Charles J.McGinley  ROG  KIA    31/12/44 HAMBURG
T/Sgt .Alvin H.Petteys      TTE  KIA    31/12/44 HAMBURG
S/Sgt Lee F.Carpenter      BTG  KIA    31/12/44 HAMBURG
S/Sgt  James H.Murphy        WG  POW 31/12/44 HAMBURG  TAPS: 1973
Sgt Harvey J. Lehman            WG   CPT   17/2/45   FRANKFURT & GIESSEN  (Transferred to Lt Streich Crew as BTG)     
  Cpl  Gordon R.Sinclair         TG   CPT  15/3/45 ORANIENBURG /WITH THE S. JOHNSON CREW AS NAV (see note)

351st Sqdn. Sqdn Diary of Sept.1944 notes this crew as joining the 100th Group in Sept.  Crew flew many missions in Skyway Chariot.  When crew was reduced to 9 men, Sgt Harvey J. Lehman (from Lt Clifton Williams Crew) was transferred to Lt Frank Streich Crew as BTG and completed his tour on 17/2/45 mission to Frankfurt & Giessen.

According to Lt Ward, Skyway Chariot was their usual plane but on an earlier mission one engine was shot out and they returned to England at ocean level and landed at an emergency airfield near the White Cliffs of Dover.  We were assigned another plane for the remainder of out tour. 

On 31/12/44, S/Sgt Roland L.Douglas,from the crew of Gerald Brown,was flying in place of Gordon Sinclair and was 
made a POW.

Note
Gordon Sinclair was removed from Navigator's school one day short of graduation for some unknown infraction, proably the Training Command acted  a bit over zealous in view of the need for trained Navigators.  The 351st Sqdn. Commander (Harry Cruver, a man known to have had some disagreement with training command personnel during his cadet days) corrected this bit of over zealousness by immediately promoting Sinclair to M/Sgt and  making him the Navigator for the Sidney Johnson crew, where he completed a tour.  This from Charles M. Beck, of the Sidney Johnson crew..pw

MISSIONS FLOWN BY LT LAWRENCE W. WARD.  (mpf…2003)

1.   30/09/44   BIELEFELD
2.   02/10/44   KASSEL
3.   05/10/44   HANDORF
4.   06/10/44   BERLIN
5.   07/10/44   BOHLEN
6.   09/10/44   MANINZ
7.   13/10/44   BREMEN
8.   17/10/44   COLOGNE
9.   18/10/44   KASSEL
10. 22/10/44   MUNSTER
11. 26/10/44   HANOVER
12. 02/11/44   MERSEBURG
13. 09/11/44   SAAR BRUCKEN
14. 16/11/44   LANGERWEKE (AACHEN AREA)
15. 21/11/44   OSNABRUCK  
16. 26/11/44   HAMM
17. 02/12/44   KOBLENZ
18. 04/12/44   FRIEDBURG 
19. 05/12/44   BERLIN
20. 11/12/44   KOBLENZ
21. 12/12/44   DARMSTADT
22. 27/12/44   FULDA
23. 28/12/44   KOBLENZ
24. 30/12/44   KASSEL
25. 31/12/44   HAMBURG-MISSING IN ACTION    

EYEWITNESS:  "A/C #38124 was broken in two by coilision with A/C #42-31066
              which fell on it after A/C 42-31066 was hit by flak. Both A/C
              went down in flames.One chute was seen."

A/C 42-31066 was flown by the crew of Floyd E. Henderson. see below for Henderson crew roster..

The following is Lt Lawrence Ward's recollection of what occurred (written
probably in late 1945):

"While we were on the bomb run the tail gunner called out an enemy jet high at six o'clock.In answer 
I checked the crew for oxygen and gave orders to all the gunners to be especially alert for enemy fighters.
All action began just as the squadron dropped their bombs.I only had time to say "Bombs Away" when
two terri fic explosions took place;one under the nose in the chin turret,the other some where around 
the center of the ship. The one under the nose was flak,and pieces of metal seemed to fill the air as they
tore thru the plexiglass and aluminum. It was at this moment that I received a hit over the left eye that stunned me. 
From then on,nothing is clear in my mind as to what happened.

We imnediately went into a spin and I remember trying to climb to the escape hatch but I didn't have strength
to overcome the other forces.The plane straightened into a dive and as I disentangled myself from all the 
debris I pulled the red cord on my flak suit,and started again for the hatch. In that one quick moment I
glimpsed the navigator lying on the catwalk on his elbows looking in my direction. This covered a fraction
of a second and then the nose seemed to disintegrate and I passed out.

When I came to I was in the open air and just automatically pulled the ripcordof my parachute. But nothing 
happened except the red handle came out - I threw it away and opened the chute by pulling the flaps 
open.I never remember the jolt of the chute opening - the next thing I knew was that I was dangling by one strap
It was a habit of mine to hook one side of the harness to the chute on the bomb run and it never occurred 
to me to fasten the other side before opening it. By this time,the bleeding of my wound had stopped - evidently
because the blood over my face had frozen. However,hanging by one strap prevented me from having any control
over myself and I whirled around and around like a top,making me very sick at my stomach.

I made hasty plans as to evading,but when I landed it was within a fenced-in estate on the edge of Hamburg.
I was immediately surrounded by soldiers and civilians  They took me to the Luftwaffe base where three 
others from our squadron were being searched and held. One was my waist gunner and he is the one who 
told me the story of our plane.The other explosion I heard was another plane colliding with us,
slicing our plane in half at the ball turret.

When I was a prisioner,the wound over my eye thawed out and began to bleed again  I tried to get it 
bandaged but to no avail,so I bandaged it with a handkerchief, and it was over a month before it finally healed."

2ND LT FLOYD E. HENDERSON   P        KIA 31 DEC 44    HAMBURG
2nd  Lt   Richard W. King             CP        KIA 31 DEC 44  HAMBURG
2nd   Lt   George J. Smigo, Jr    NAV      POW 31 DEC 44  HAMBURG
S/Sgt  Elmer L. Kovach         TOGG        KIA 31 DEC 44  HAMBURG
S/Sgt George J.Robinson          ROG       KIA  31 DEC 44  HAMBURG
 S/Sgt James W.Shepard          TTE       KIA  31 DEC 44  HAMBURG
   Sgt Leo O.Murphy                BTG     POW    31 DEC 44  HAMBURG
   Sgt Fred Horcasitas                 WG      KIA   31 DEC 44  HAMBURG
   Sgt Frank S.Sauls                    TG     POW   31 DEC 44  HAMBURG


NOTE:

2nd Lt Sidney C. Johnson         P            CPT      15/3/45 ORANIENBURG, MY
2nd Lt Williarn J. Duggan         CP          CPT       15/3/45 ORANIENBURG, MY
1st Lt Chester Romanowski     NAV        NOC
    F/O Harry M. Thompson     BOM        CPT      21/3/45 RUHLAND & PLAUEN
    T/Sgt Charles M. Beck, Jr.    ROG        CPT       15/3/45 ORANIENBURG, MY
    Cpl Harry E. Menter           TTE        CPT       15/3/45 " " "
    Cpl William G. Weeks         BTG        CPT        15/3/45 " " "
    Cpl Edwin R. Hodgson         WG        CPT       15/3/45 " " "
    Cpl Francis W. Manser          TG         CPT      15/3/45 " " "

351st Sqdn.  Crew, as above, joined the 100th Group on 28 OCT 44.

This crew flew 35 missions. For most of the tour the Navigator was  M/Sgt  Gordon Sinclair, only a frew  NCO'S served As  Navigators

MEMO 2:

KIA / MIA / EVA / INT INFORMATION:

TARGET: Hamburg DATE: 1944-12-31  
AIRCRAFT: (43-38124) CAUSE: FLAK - Collided with 4  

BURIAL INFORMATION

PLOT: K ROW: 19  
GRAVE: 1 CEMETERY: Netherlands Cemetery/Margraten  

PHOTOS:

 Photo from the Robert Stewart collection labeled: Clifton Williams crew. 

 Clifton M. Williams crew. Standing (left to right); Kenneth W. Newkirk, Lawrence W. Ward, Richard F. Williams, Gordon R. Sinclair and Clifton M. Williams. Kneeling; Lee F. Carpenter, Ronald L. Douglas, James H. Murphy, Charles J. McGinley and Alvin H. Petteys. Detailed Information (100th Photo Archives) 

 Photo from the Robert Stewart collection labeled: The Clifton Williams Crew Clifton M. Williams Crew (left to right)
Kneeling: Alvin H. Petteys, Lee F. Carpenter, Charles J. McGinley, Harvey J. Lehman, James H. Murphy
Middle: Gordon R. Sinclair
Standing: Lawrence W. Ward, Richard F. Williams, Clifton M. Williams, Kenneth W. Newkirk
100th BG Photo Archives
 

 Photo from the Robert Stewart collection labeled: Lt. Clifton Williams. Lee F. Carpenter is on the far right 

Clifton M Williams   351st   P   Mississippi   KIA   31 Dec 44   Hamburg   Clifton M. Williams Crew   (100th Photo Archives)

 Clifton M. "Willie" Williams - 351st Pilot outside barracks #13 at Thorpe Abbotts Detailed Information (100th Photo Archives) 

 

SERVED IN:

Crew 1

Crew 2

ID: 5553