Baldwin, William E., Jr., 2nd Lt

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Last Rank
Second Lieutenant
Last Primary AFSC/MOS
AAF MOS 1091-Pilot, B-17
Last AFSC Group
Pilot (Officer)
Primary Unit
1945-1945, AAF MOS 1091, 351st Bombardment Squadron, Heavy
Service Years
1942 - 1945
USAAFOfficer Collar Insignia
Second Lieutenant

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by CMSgt Don Skinner-Deceased to remember Baldwin, William E., Jr., 2nd Lt.

If you knew or served with this Airman and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
Casualty Info
Home Town
San Diego
Last Address
351st Bomb Squadron
Thorpe-Abbots, United Kingdom

Casualty Date
Apr 03, 1945
Hostile, Died while Missing
Air Loss, Crash - Land
World War II
Location of Interment
Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery - San Diego, California
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Section H, Site 604

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Associations and Other Affiliations
World War II Fallen
  1945, World War II Fallen

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 Ribbon Bar

Pilot Badge

 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
United States Army Air Forces (USAAF)100th Bombardment Group, Heavy351st Bombardment Squadron, Heavy
  1942-1944, United States Army Air Forces (USAAF)
  1945-1945, AAF MOS 1091, 100th Bombardment Group, Heavy
  1945-1945, AAF MOS 1091, 351st Bombardment Squadron, Heavy
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1945-1945 World War II/European-African-Middle Eastern Theater/Central Europe Campaign (1945)
 My Aircraft/Missiles
B-17 Flying Fortress  
  1944-1945, B-17 Flying Fortress
 Additional Information

Last Known Activity
William E. Baldwin, Jr. was born in San Diego, California on June 25, 1922. His parents were William E., Sr. and Florence Baldwin. The US Censuses of 1930 and 1940 list the family living in San Diego.

It is not known when Baldwin first entered the military, but judging from age, experience, and rank, 1942 would be reasonable guess. The first mention of him in military records located is as a co-pilot on the original crew of Lt Robert C. Fletcher in March, 1945, in England, newly-arrived.

The crew flew its first combat mission on March 18, 1945, over Berlin, Germany. Lt Fletcher was wounded in action, and removed from the crew. Lt Baldwin took over as pilot. Lt Beedle, from the original crew of Lt Ellis, became co-pilot. Also, SSgt Weber joined the crew as radar controller.

The crew continued to fly missions against German targets. On April 3, 1945, they were sent to attack the submarine pens at Kiel, Germany. While returning from a successful mission, as the formation passed over the Friesian Islands off the Dutch coast, flak batteries opened up.

The aircraft of Baldwin was hit by flak knocking out two engines and starting an interior fire. The crew attempted to bail out, but the aircraft exploded. Wreckage fell on the island of Texel, off the coast of Holland.

Two of the crew were captured. Two bodies were identified, and two were not. All 4 were recovered from the wreckage, and were buried in Den Burg, Texel Island.In December, 1945, these bodies were recovered by Allied troops and moved to Margraten Cemetery. Body parts of two men were put into one coffin and buried in Den Burg. (Later, it was shown these remains were Buckley and Davis.) In 1946, bodies were re-inspected and all identified.

No other bodies were found, and after the war, Baldwin was moved to where he lies today - in the Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery in San Diego, California in Section H. Site 604.
US Census 1930
US Census 1940
California Birth Records


Lt William E. Baldwin, Jr. was performing duties as First Pilot on  B-17G # 43-38992, unnamed, assigned to the 351st Bomb Squadron.

To account for this loss, Missing Air Crew Report 13717 was issued. Personnel and crew files show the crew on board were:

2 Lt William E. Baldwin, Jr  p
2 Lt Francis G. Beedle  c-p
F/O John H. Buckley  nav
Sgt  Leslie O. Davis  tog
Sgt  Kenneth E. Wright  eng/tt gun
Sgt  Kermit E. Jones  r/o
Sgt  Randolph A. Goodwin  btg
Sgt  Alfred Mantopoli  wg
Sgt  Ogden W. Barron  tail gun
SSgt Howard O. Weber  rad cont

Ranks and grades as of mission date.

Sgts Jones and Weber were captured. All others were killed.

In the crew photo shown, Baldwin is in the back row, 3rd from left.

Service photo source:

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