William Homer McCulley was killed in action in England. He attended Maryville High School graduating in 1942.

Staff Sergeant William Homer McCulley Jr. was born July 12, 1923. He was the son of William Homer McCulley and Nellie Mae Brown McCulley. He had one brother, J. Elmer McCulley, and six sisters, Marjorie McCulley, who died in infancy, Mary F. McCulley, E. Jane McCulley, Ernestine McCulley, Barbara McCulley, and Patsy McCulley.

He enlisted in the Army Air Corps on January 9, 1943, in Fort Oglethorpe, GA. He served in the European Theater. He died on his first overseas mission on November 13, 1943. His heroic death was chronicled in the Maryville Enterprise on December 16, 1943. The article, titled “Sgt. McCulley Gives Life to Save Town”, reads, “Mr. and Mrs. Homer McCulley received a letter yesterday from a Lieutenant in the Army Air Corps giving details of the death of Staff Sergeant McCulley, He was on his first mission in Wargrave, Berkshire, England, in a B-17 Flying Fortress loaded with bombs. The plane caught fire over a city and couldn’t land on account of being loaded with bombs. If they had landed, the bombs would have wiped out the town. The crew got to a river and threw the bombs in. When the last bomb dropped, the plane exploded. All were killed but one boy. These nine boys gave their lives to save this town. The only survivor came down in his parachute.”

Staff Sergeant McCulley’s body was returned to the United States aboard the U.S. Army Transport Lawrence Victory. He was buried in Mount Tabor Cemetery in Blount County, TN.

  • Rank: Staff Sergeant
  • Date of birth:
  • 12 July 1923
  • Date of death: 13 November 1943
  • County: Blount
  • Hometown: Maryville
  • Service Branch: Army/Army Air Forces
  • Division/Assignment: 544th Bomber Squadron
  • Theater: Europe
  • Conflict: World War II
  • Awards: Purple Heart
  • Burial/Memorial Location: Old Mt. Tabor Cemetery, Maryville, TN
  • Location In Memorial: Pillar VI, Bottom Panel
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