Eareckson, William Olmstead, Col

 Service Photo   Service Details
25 kb
View Time Line
Last Rank
Last Primary AFSC/MOS
M 1060-Bombardment Unit Commander
Last AFSC Group
Primary Unit
1952-1954, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base
Service Years
1918 - 1954

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

31 kb

Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by SSgt Robert Bruce McClelland, Jr. to remember Eareckson, William Olmstead, Col USAF(Ret).

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.
Contact Info
Home Town
Baltimore, Maryland
Last Address
Sarasota, Florida

Date of Passing
Oct 26, 1966
Location of Interment
Arlington National Cemetery - Arlington, Virginia
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Section 37 Grave 692

 Official Badges 

Air Force Commander Air Training Command Instructor (pre-1966) Commander Headquarters Air Force

Air Force Retired

 Unofficial Badges 

US Army Honorable Discharge Cold War Medal

 Military Association Memberships
Air Force Memorial (AFM)
  2017, Air Force Memorial (AFM) - Assoc. Page

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
He served in WWI, WWII, and the Korean War.  He is best known for being an innovative commander of combat operations against the Japanese in the Aleutians Campaign in WWII.
Eareckson Air Station, Shemya, Aleutian Islands, Alaska is named for him.

Synopsis of his DSC citation:
Awarded for actions during World War II
(Citation Needed) - SYNOPSIS: Colonel (Air Corps) William Olmstead Eareckson (AFSN: 239A), United States Army Air Forces, was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy in aerial combat while serving as Pilot of a B-26 Medium Bomber and as Commander, 11th Bomber Command, ELEVENTH Air Force, while participating in a bombing mission against enemy Japanese surface targets during the period 3 to 18 June 1942, in the Aleutian Islands, Territory of Alaska. On that date, Japanese carrier planes attacked ill-prepared Dutch Harbor on Unalaska Island. Colonel Eareckson led a flight of B-26s through impossible weather in an attempt to find and attack the Japanese fleet with torpedoes, which he had scrounged from the Navy. After two relatively unsuccessful attacks, the enemy fleet withdrew and occupied Attu and Kiska Islands at the western end of the Aleutian chain. Colonel Eareckson's bombers attacked enemy island bases and shipping whenever fog and gale-force winds permitted. Colonel Eareckson earned the respect and devotion of his men by flying in every position--from left-seater to tailgunner. The Aleutian campaign ended with the Japanese evacuation of Kiska in August 1943. The personal courage and zealous devotion to duty displayed by Colonel Eareckson during this period have upheld the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, the 11th Air Force, and the United States Army Air Forces.

General Orders: Headquarters, Alaska Defense Command, General Orders No. 61 (July 16, 1942)

Action Date: June 3 - 18, 1942

Service: Army Air Forces

Rank: Colonel

Company: Commander

Regiment: 11th Bomber Command

Division: 11th Air Force

His Navy Cross citation:
Awarded for actions during World War II
The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Colonel (Air Corps) William Olmstead Eareckson, United States Army Air Forces, for extraordinary heroism while participating in aerial flight while serving with the Bomber Command, ELEVENTH Air Force, during the seizure and occupation of enemy-held Attu Island, Territory of Alaska, from June 1942 to August 1942. Upon one occasion during these operations, Colonel Eareckson personally piloted his aircraft into a fog-shrouded and narrow pass on Attu Island to lead a supply plane to a group of U.S. troops suffering from exhaustion and frostbite. The supplies thus delivered undoubtedly contributed materially to the saving of their lives. Throughout the assault on Attu, Colonel Eareckson repeatedly flew extremely close to enemy anti-aircraft gun positions, deliberately drawing their fire, thus causing them to reveal their positions. He followed up these tactics by directing air attacks against the enemy positions so revealed, which resulted in neutralizing or destroying them. In addition, Colonel Eareckson made daily reconnaissance flights over and around Attu Island, and did so on days on which low ceiling and visibility prevented all other aircraft from taking off. His conduct throughout was in accordance with the highest traditions of the United States Military and Naval Forces.

Action Date: June 1942 - August 1942

Service: Army Air Forces

Rank: Colonel

Company: Bomber Command

Division: 11th Air Force

Other Comments:
 Photo Album   (More...

  1948-1950, Headquarters Command (HQ USAF)

From Month/Year
February / 1948
To Month/Year
March / 1950
Headquarters Command (HQ USAF) Unit Page
Not Specified
Pentagon, Arlington, VA
 Headquarters Command (HQ USAF) Details

Headquarters Command (HQ USAF)
HQ/ Command Element
Parent Unit
US Air Force
Created/Owned By
Not Specified

Last Updated: Sep 4, 2018
My Photos For This Unit
No Available Photos
28 Members Also There at Same Time
Headquarters Command (HQ USAF)

Holbury, Robert James, Maj Gen, (1942-1972) 00 [Other Service Rank]
Price, Jack Clayton, Lt Col, (1941-1968) [Other Service Rank]
Hanley, Thomas James, Maj Gen, (1915-1952) Major General
Smith, Joseph, Lt Gen, (1923-1958) 66 00066 Major General
Agee, Walter Robertson, Maj Gen, (1928-1959) Brigadier General
Allen, Brooke Empie, Maj Gen, (1933-1966) Colonel
Barber, Edward, Brig Gen, (1921-1951) Colonel
Graham, Gordon Marion, Lt Gen, (1940-1973) M93 M 9301 Colonel
Magoffin, Morton David, Col, (1937-1958) Colonel
Robey, Pearl Harvey, Maj Gen, (1930-1960) Colonel
Rogers, Turner Clifton, Maj Gen, (1936-1966) Colonel
Tanberg, Lawrence F., Maj Gen, (1941-1974) 01 Colonel
Baccus, Donald Arthur, Col, (1940-1965) Lieutenant Colonel
Elliott, Frank Bower, Brig Gen, (1940-1968) Lieutenant Colonel
Emmens, Robert Gabel, Col, (1937-1964) 01 Lieutenant Colonel
Friedman, Robert Joseph, Lt Gen, (1935-1970) Lieutenant Colonel
Lopez, Donald Sewell, Lt Col, (1942-1964) Lieutenant Colonel
Norstad, Lauris, Gen, (1930-1963) Lieutenant Colonel
Zoeckler, John Lewis, Maj Gen, (1939-1969) 653 6531 Lieutenant Colonel
Page, Jerry Dentler, Maj Gen, (1938-1972) Major
Anderson, Wyman Doyle, Lt Col, (1941-1969) Captain
John, Ernest F., Brig Gen, (1942-1973) Captain
Johnson, Oris Baker, Maj Gen, (1941-1973) Captain
Hackler, James Franklin, Maj Gen, (1943-1969) First Lieutenant
Killian, Melvin Joseph, Col, (1940-1965) First Lieutenant
LeBailly, Eugene, Lt Gen, (1940-1973) First Lieutenant
Allery, Kenneth Edward, Brig Gen, (1944-1976) Second Lieutenant
McGettigan, John, SMSgt, (1948-1970) 991 99125 Senior Master Sergeant

Copyright Togetherweserved.com Inc 2003-2011