Eareckson, William Olmstead, Col

Deceased
 
 Service Photo   Service Details
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Last Rank
Colonel
Last Primary AFSC/MOS
M 1060-Bombardment Unit Commander
Last AFSC Group
USAAF
Primary Unit
1952-1954, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base
Service Years
1918 - 1954
Colonel

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

31 kb

Home State
Maryland
Maryland
Year of Birth
1900
 
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:
Sources:
http://veterantributes.org/TributeDetail.php?recordID=1096
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_O._Eareckson
http://www.airforce-magazine.com/MagazineArchive/Pages/1991/June%201991/0691valor.aspx
http://ranger95.com/airforce/af_groups/operations_gp/28th_og.htm
http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=49176899
   
 Photo Album   (More...


 1942-1942, B-24 Liberator
From Year
1942
To Year
1942
   
Personal Memories
Not Specified
   
Image
 B-24 Liberator Details
 


Aircraft/Missile Information
Specifications

Model Consolidated B-24J Liberator
Length 67.16 ft | 20.47 m
Width 110.01 ft | 33.53 m
Height 18.01 ft | 5.49 m
Engine(s) 4 x Pratt & Whitney R-1830-65 radial piston engines generating 1,200hp.
Empty Weight 36,500 lbs | 16,556 kg
MTOW 65,001 lbs | 29,484 kg
Max Speed 290 mph | 467 km/h | 252 kts
Max Range 2,001 miles | 3,220 km
Ceiling 28,002 ft | 8,535 m | 5.3 miles
Climb Rate 800 ft/min (243.84 m/min)
Hardpoints 0
Armament 2 x 12.7mm machine guns in nose assembly.
2 x 12.7mm machine guns in tail assembly.
2 x 12.7mm machine guns in upper-fuselage turret.
2 x 12.7mm machine guns in under-fuselage assembly.
1 x 12.7mm machine gun in left-waist fuselage position.
1 x 12.7mm machine gun in right-waist fuselage position.

Up to 8,800lbs of internal bombs.
Accommodations 10
Operators the United States of America and the United Kingdom.




* Model 31 - Flying Boat Model whose wing assembly would become the basis for the B-24 design.
* Model 32 - Base B-24 Model Series Designation.
* XB-24 - Initial Prototype Model Designation fitted with R-1830-33 radial piston engines generating 1,200hp.
* YB-24 - Preproduction Model Designation
* B-24A - Fitted with 2 x 7.62mm tail guns, 6 x 12.7mm machine guns in nose assembly, dorsal and waist gun positions.
* B-24C - Fitted with turbocharged R-1830-41 engines; 8 x 12.7mm machine guns - nose (single gun), ventral, waist (left and right), dorsal turret (two guns) and tail turret (two guns).
* B-24D - Based on the B-24C model but fitted with R-1830-43 engines; later models of this series would feature the twin 12.7mm ball turret gun assembly in the ventral fuselage position; self-sealing fuel tanks; 2,381 produced.
* B-24E - Modified propeller systems; 801 produced.
* B-24G - Fitted with R-1830-43 engines; powered nose turret with 2 x 12.7mm machine guns.
* B-24H - Improved Model with extended nose section; 3,100 produced.
* B-24J - Fitted with R-1830-65 engines; improved bombsight; autopilot functionality; 6,678 produced.
* B-24L - Based on B-24J model but fitted with hand-operated tail guns; 1,667 produced.
* B-24M - Based on B-24J model with lighter mounting for hand-operated tail gun; 2,593 produced.
* XB-24Q - General Electric Conversion Model of B-24L model fitted with radio-controlled tail turret.
* B-24Q - Final Production Model Designation
* B-24Q
* LB-30 - Transport Variant
* C-87 - Air Force Transport Variant
* RY - Navy Transport Variant
* C-109 - Fuel Tanking Model
* F-7 - Photographic Reconnaissance Model
* PB4Y-1 - Patrol Bombing Model
* PB4Y-2 - Specialized Model with single vertical tail surface assembly.
* GR - British Maritime Reconnaissance Model.




   
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Last Updated: Nov 16, 2011
   
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  160 Also There at This Aircraft:
  • Altmayer, Magnus, Maj, (1941-1946)
  • Belt, Leslie
  • Bryant, Louis Paul
  • Chastain, Berthold Allen, SSgt, (1942-1943)
  • Chludil, Mero
  • Cowhey, Mary Margaret
  • Davis, Harold, SSgt, (1942-1945)
  • Hardy, Richard, SSgt, (1942-1944)
  • Harmening, Fred, TSgt, (1940-1970)
  • Hensley, Henry, MSgt, (1942-1946)
  • Hill, Chester Lawrence, Capt, (1942-1953)
  • Love, Hannah (Nancy), Lt Col, (1942-1952)
  • MESSER, JOSEPH
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