William Thomas Findley was born in Atchison, Kansas, the son of Vail Eugene Findley and Ruth Inez Thomas.

Aircraft B-29 with serial number 44-69867 was on a bombing mission to Yokohama. The aircraft received a direct flak burst over the target after bombs away. The entire control system was shot away with the exception of the trim tabs on the elevators. The landing gears extended and flaps came down at approximately 20-25 degrees. The original course to return to base was maintained. Soon afterwards the aircraft went into a dive at 19,000 feet and pulled out at 12,000 feet. The pilot was able to straighten out by means of the elevator trim tabs but in so doing an erratic course was flown. Approximately 100 miles off the Japanese Coast the verbal order to bail out was carried out. After leaving the formation the distressed aircraft was jumped by 10 Japanese fighters. The call for help on VHF was radioed to other B-29`s in the vicinity. Five attacks were made at the stricken aircraft by Tojos in pairs. Two B-29`s arrived to drive the fighters off. Later the Radio Operator contacted a submarine (Razor Back) which was approximately 30 miles off the coast. He also contacted a buddy B-298 and gave them their position.

Crew members
Air Plane Commander, Capt Reece Killpack
Co-Pilot, 2nd Lt Joseph B. Neden Jr.
Navigator, Capt John C. Wilkie
Bomberdier, Capt Harris E. Collins Jr.
Radar Operaor, 2nd Lt Austin L. Wible
Radio Operator, Sgt Eugene C. Reck
Flight Engineer, T/Sgt Fred N. Dunn
Tail Gunner,Sgt Myron D. Williams
Right Gunner, Sgt William T. Findley
CFC Gunner Sgt Joseph P. Miller
Sgt George C. Tilghman

The Atchison Daily Globe, 29 June 1945
Sgt. William T. (Doc) Findley, 19, has been reported missing in action over the Pacific since May 29, according to a war department telegram delivered last evening to his aunt, Miss Myrtle Findley, 1611 South Eight, with whom he makes his home. The telegram was addressed to Sgt. Findley’s father, Vail Findley, who recently moved to Peoria, Ill.
The last letter received from Sgt. Findley, dated May 26, stated that he had been on a number of missions, including three trips over Tokyo. A blister gunnero n a B-29, he had been base don the Marianas since going overseas April 12. Graduating from the Atchison high school in May, 1943, Doc went into the army air corps the following december. Receiving his early training at Amarillo, Texas, he was sent to Scott Field, Ill., Ft. Myer, Fla. And Pyote, Texas, before going overseas.
During the few months prior to going into the army, Sgt. FInley worked in a defense plant in California. During his high school years he was employed by the Levin Home Appliance store. Sgt. Findley has one brother, Cpl. Malcolm Findley, a member of the ground crew of the air crops, who has been stationed in China for almost two years. He is the grandson of Mr. and Mrs. S.C. Thomas, 714 Atchison.

  • Rank: Sergeant
  • Date of birth:
  • 20 September 1925
  • Date of death: 29 May 1945
  • County: Hamilton
  • Service Branch: Army/Army Air Forces
  • Division/Assignment: 60th Bomber Group, 39th Bomber Group, Very Heavy
  • Theater: Pacific
  • Conflict: World War II
  • Awards: Air Medal, Purple Heart
  • Burial/Memorial Location: Honolulu Memorial, Honolulu, Hawaii
  • Location In Memorial: Pillar X, Middle Panel
  • Contact us to sponsor William T. Findley

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