Last Known Activity
According to his NARA enlistment records, William P. Blaine was born in Pennsylvania in 1922. No census data or parentage have been found, nor any records concerning his early life.
He enlisted as a private in the Army Air Forces on April 15, 1942. His enlistment papers state he had completed 1 year of college (unnamed), and was working at the time as a garage laborer.
He was selected for flight duty, and given pilot training. When finished, he was awarded wings, commissioned, and assigned to multi-engine aircraft. In 1944, he was assigned to a bomber unit operating from Lucera, Italy. He flew 5 missions.
On April 3, 1944, he was co-pilot on an aircraft assigned to bomb targets at Budapest, Hungary. There is a single page Missing Air Crew Report (4401) in the 301st Bomb Group files, but has only thee aircraft, crew complement, target, route, and the notation that the aircraft was lost to enemy fighters.
On the MACR, the crew roster is annotated to include the status of each man (KIA, MIA, RTD, POW, etc.) This info has been crossed off and another note states there is not enough evidence to conclude any deaths. Research has proven that at least 6 men died in the crash.
Evidently, bodies were recovered, and buried in a known locale. After the war, Lt Blaine was returned to the U.S. and buries in a common grave with Lt Albert T. Ross. This grave is in Section E, Site 79 in the Zachary Taylor National Cemetery in Kentucky.
www.fold3.com (which state he had completed 4 years of high school.)
NARA Enlistment Records
Lt. William P. Blaine was co-pilot on B-17G #42-39986, not named, assigned to the 352nd Bomb Squadron.
Missing Air Crew Report 4401 was issued, but as stated, has no details of the loss. No mission loading list is accessible in 301st Bomb Group files, but a crew roster can be established from the MACR. The crew was:
2 Lt Albert T. Ross p
2 Lt William P. Blaine c-p
2 Lt John W. Grady nav
2 Lt Leonard C. Sacks bomb
SSgt Walter D. Hill eng/tt gun
SSgt Robert H. Ewell r/o
SSgt James W. Everett btg
TSgt Rex R. Cameron wg
SSgt William L. Van Sandt tail gun
Ranks and grades as of mission date.
From other sources, it is believed that 6 men were killed, and 3 taken as POW.
Service photo source: