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PFC George William “Billy” Wall, Jr

PFC George William “Billy” Wall, Jr

Alabama, USA
Death 14 Mar 1945 (aged 19)
Reims, Departement de la Marne, Champagne-Ardenne, France
Burial Birmingham, Jefferson County, Alabama, USA
Memorial ID 28540161 · View Source
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Pfc Wall (ASN 34815467) joined the U.S. Army on September 11, 1943 at FT McClellan, Alabama and volunteered for parachutist duty.

He completed parachute jump school and was assigned to the Regimental Headquarters Company (HQ HQ) of the 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment which by that time had already fought in both Normandy and Holland. George caught up with them sometime about January 1945 as a replacement troop in the Battle of The Bulge. In recognition of his service in combat, he was awarded the Combat Infantryman Badge in General Orders No. 8 dated 10 March 1945.

Just four days later, on 14 March 1945, George was one of 450 men in 42 aircraft making a qualification certification jump over Reims, France.

At what could be called the worst possible moment, one of the trailing C-47s suddenly lost it's starboard propeller. Already flying at decreased airspeed to accommodate the jumpers needs, the plane was unable to recover on its single operating engine. The rapidly sinking aircraft cut a swath through the parachutists in its path.

One after another, parachutes were draped over the wings of the aircraft and their cargo were cemented against the metal as the stricken C-47 plunged to the ground.

Six men of the 508th PIR, including Pfc George W. Wall, were among the dead.

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  • Maintained by: Judy Davis
  • Originally Created by: Dick ODonnell
  • Added: 26 Jul 2008
  • Find A Grave Memorial 28540161
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for PFC George William “Billy” Wall, Jr (2 May 1925–14 Mar 1945), Find A Grave Memorial no. 28540161, citing Forest Hill Cemetery, Birmingham, Jefferson County, Alabama, USA ; Maintained by Judy Davis (contributor 47853651) .