William served as a Staff Sergeant and Right Waist Gunner on B-17F #42-5780 "Black Swan", 427th Bomber Squadron, 303rd Bomber Group, Heavy, U.S. Army Air Forces during World War II.
He resided in New Haven County, Connecticut prior to the war.
He enlisted in the Army on September 29, 1941, prior to the war, in Hartford, Connecticut. He was noted as being employed as a filer, grinder, buffer, and polisher of metal and also as Single, without dependents.
William was "Killed In Action" when his B-17F was hit by a direct aerial bomb and crashed near St. Pere-en-Retz, France during the war. He was awarded the Purple Heart.
He was originally interred in the Pont du Cens Cemetery, France and was later repatriated here.
Service # 11033193
William was not an original member of the 1st Lt. Sterling crew. He arrived in England in the summer of 1942 and became a gunner with the 97th, 301st, 306th or 93rd Bomber Group, Heavy (Original Group assignment unknown).
He was wounded in the leg on 9 October 1943 (VIII Bomber Command mission #14 to Lorient, France). He was transferred to the 427th Bomber Squadron, 303rd Bomber Group, Heavy after his injuries had healed.
William flew on 303rd Bomber Group, Heavy on mission #29 to Antwerp Belgium as a Tail Gunner with the 427th Bomber Squadron, 1st Lt. Chester D. Jaques crew, before becoming a member of the 1st Lt. Jay R. Sterling's Crew in B-17F #42-29520 (No name) (427BS) GN-O. Failed to exit "Black Swan" on mission #29 and was killed.
The 10 man Crew of the "Black Swan":
Cashman, Daniel J., S/Sgt, Gunner, Massachusetts, KIA
Fields, Harley W., T/Sgt, Radio-Op, Michigan, KIA
Griffin, Powell E., T/Sgt, Engineer, Alabama, POW
McCormick, Arthur R., S/Sgt, Turret Gunner, Maine, KIA
Neill, John L., 2nd Lt, Co-Pilot, California, POW
Parker, David H., 2nd Lt, Bombardier, North Carolina, POW
Roach, Harry E., Jr, 2nd Lt, Navigator, Pennsylvania, EVD
Sterling, Jay R., 1st Lt, Pilot, Iowa, KIA
Whalon, William R., S/Sgt, Gunner, Connecticut, KIA
Cleavelin, Jessie C., S/Sgt, Gunner, Oklahoma, KIA
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