Last Known Activity
Julian P. Bell was born in New York on July 9, 1918. His mother's name was Salley H. Morrea, according to one source. Strangely, the US Census 1930 shows her as "Officer" and "Divorced," along with a long list of people (including Julian) marked as "Inmates" at the Kingsland School in Ramapo, New York. The US Census 1940 shows her (Divorced) as head of household with Julian in Madison, New York.
According to his NARA enlistment record, Julian enlisted on January 23, 1942. The record states he had completed 4 years of high school, and was working as a salesman. He received training as a bombardier, was commissioned, and then assigned to a combat crew in England in June, 1943. Sources within the 303rd Bomb Group state he did not fly any missions until April 30, 1944.
Sometime during his training, he married, as the burial card for his return was made out by Helene L. Bell (wife).
He flew at least 5 missions with various crews until Lt Way was upgraded to Pilot, and given his own crew. Bell then flew at least 21 missions with Lt Way. On June 21, 1944, the target area was the city center of Berlin, Germany. Fighters were held off by escorts, but flak was intense and accurate.
Observers (and later crew reports) stated the aircraft was hit with 4 flak bursts, right after releasing its bombs. Two struck in the nose area, and two hit in the bomb bay. The aircraft spun out of the formation and exploded. Wreckage fell near the Berlin-Schussendorf Railway.
German records indicate five bodies were recovered in the aircraft and crash area, while four airmen were captured. These bodies were buried in a local cemetery. After the war ended, Bell was recovered and returned to the U.S. and buried on June 7, 1950 in the Long Island National Cemetery at Farmingdale, New York where he lies in Section H, Site 11688.
NARA Enlistment Records
US Census 1930
US Census 1940
Headstone Inscription and Control Record, Burial in US Nat Cem
Lt Julian Bell was the assigned bombardier on B-17G # 42-32037, unnamed, assigned to the 358th Bomb Squadron.
Missing Air Crew Report 6540 covers this loss. Mission loading lists verify crew consisted of:
1 Lt Henry G. Way p
2 Lt Warren G. Raese c-p
2 Lt Eldon A. Sigurdson nav
2 Lt Julian L. Bell bomb
SSgt Stanley A. Lynam eng/ waist gun
SSgt Vincent C. Paolino tt gun
SSgt James G. May r/o
SSgt Garland T. Meredith btg
SSgt Robert E. Parks tail gun
Note: Grades and ranks as of mission date.
Note: Sigurdson, May, Meredith, and Parks survived and were captured.
In the crew photo, Bell is in the back row, at right.
Service photo source: