Maj W. Harold Willsie Jr.


Maj W. Harold Willsie Jr.

Death 26 Aug 1942 (aged 26)
Milne Bay, Papua New Guinea
Burial Tecumseh, Pottawatomie County, Oklahoma, USA
Memorial ID 99080555 View Source

Harold Willsie

Date of death: Missing in Action/Presumed KIA
Home of record: Asher, Oklahoma
Status: MIA
Awards and Citations: Silver Star

Awarded posthumously for actions during the World War II

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918, takes pride in presenting the Silver Star (Posthumously) to Major (Air Corps) Harold Willsie (ASN: 0-373836), United States Army Air Forces, for gallantry in action while serving with the 93d Bombardment Squadron, 19th Bombardment Group (Heavy), FIFTH Air Force, in action at Milne Bay, New Guinea, on 26 August 1942. Major Willsie was Co-Pilot of a B-17E type aircraft which was part of a formation of eight planes that attacked a Japanese convoy in Milne Bay. Adverse weather conditions forced it to approach the target from an altitude of 2,000 feet. Despite a heavy anti-aircraft barrage which was sent up by five enemy warships, Major Willsie continued on the bombing run until his plane received a direct hit and burst into flames, causing it to crash into the bay. Such courage and devotion to duty exemplify the finest traditions of the United States Army Air Corps.

General Orders: Headquarters, 5th Air Force, General Orders No. 38 (December 2, 1942)

Action Date: 26-Aug-42
Service: Army Air Forces
Rank: Major
Company: 93d Bombardment Squadron
Regiment: 19th Bombardment Group (H)
Division: 5th Air Force


Major Harold Willsie was the Co-Pilot of B-17F-1-BO Flying Fortress Serial Number 41-24354

Pilot Captain Clyde H. Webb Jr., O-22999 (MIA/KIA) IL
Co-Pilot Major Harold Willsie, O-373836 (MIA/KIA) OK
Bombardier 1st Lt. Seth A. Ford, O-440331 (MIA/KIA) CA
Navigator 2nd Lt Philip P. Reece Jr., O-789813 (MIA/KIA) WV
Engineer Sgt Carl T. Roberts, 6999228 (MIA/KIA)
Radio Sgt John Kominicki, 11011456 (MIA/KIA) RI
Gunner Cpl Ferris J. Antone, 17034700 (MIA/KIA) MO
Gunner Pvt Harold W. Davis, 39020775 (MIA/KIA) CA
Gunner Pvt Raymond B. Weeks, 18061857 (MIA/KIA) TX
MIA August 26, 1942
MACR 16099

Aircraft History:
Built by Boeing at Seattle. Constructors Number 3039. Assigned to the USAAF, 5th Air Force, 19th Bombardment Group, 93rd Bombardment Squadron. No known nose art or nickname.

Mission History:
Took off at 5:10am as one of nine B-17s flying in three flights of three bombers on a bombing mission against a Japanese convoy off Milne Bay. This aircraft which was in the second flight.

Spotting the ships, they attacked the convoy at 6:50am from 2,700'. This B-17 suffered a direct hit from anti-aircraft fire in its No. 2 engine and fuel tank causing it to nose dive into Milne Bay with the loss of the entire crew. The attack ended by 7:45am.

The entire crew was declared dead on the day of the mission. The entire crew is memorialized on the tablets of the missing at Manila American Cemetery.

See also Find A Grave Memorial #56791917


MAJ 93 Bomb Group AAF
World War II SS-PH


In their memory
Plant Memorial Trees

Sponsored by Ancestry