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Another WWII Vet was buried today who happen to be a friend of mine who lived down the street. William had the toughest job the Army Air Corps had to offer being a B24 ball turrent gunner who flew 35 missions over Europe beginning 1943. And earned no less than 2 Distinguished Flying Cross medals. The last few years of his life were hard declining health, memory loss but he never forgot his tour of duty over the unfriendly skies of Europe. Interesting I knew more about his combat experience than his family. I guess it's the Vet to Vet thing. Anyhow I believe their is a special place in Heaven for people like William.
 

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I am sorry Dow, hard to lose a friend, let alone a hero like this!

Ed
 

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I will be posting pics of William and his B24 crew shortly, but for now it's been a tough day.
 

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My condolences to his family and friends (including you, Dow).
It's tragic to see the twilight of this generation, but there is nothing we can do besides honor their memory.
 

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It's a little disconcerting to see your obituary on a public forum, but I thought I would wait to see if they started to shovel the dirt in on me before I protested. Strangely enough, my Father's name was William, also and he started out in B-24s in the Army Air Corps. In any case, I don't believe this man was a relative of mine.

My deepest n sympathies go out to his family and friends.
Pat
 

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Enclosed is a pic of William and his B24 crew he is at the far right kneeling. Looks like they have their cold weather gear on getting ready for another mission. As always it hurts to loose another Brother in Arms. So thanks for the replies.
 

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Sorry to hear of the loss of your friend and brother in arms. He was indeed fortunate to have survived the 35 missions, Ball Turrent Gunners didn't have a long life expectancy. Even though we hear of him at a time of sorrow, it is great to hear of what he did!
 

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Just got back from Williams house his wife died just a few hours ago her final wishes were to be back with her husband. She was 96 years old. Amazing how little his daughters knew about his war time experience. So I told them a few things we used to talk about. And explained in detail what his medals and ribbons meant. Anyhow it's a tough thing to watch your mother die. Family was relived she was released no more pain no more suffering and were amazed her body and spirit lasted so long. Enclosed are pics of war time William and later years of him and his wife.
 

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35 missions is a bunch, surprised he didn't get a Purple Heart also. One of the many heroes we loose as time goes on. Thanks for the story, then and now.

G2
 

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A Purple Heart would have required being wounded in action, which does not reduces his merits.
 

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Dow,

I'm just curious, did William ever mention where he was born or raised?
Pat
 

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Just got back from Williams house his wife died just a few hours ago her final wishes were to be back with her husband. She was 96 years old. Amazing how little his daughters knew about his war time experience. So I told them a few things we used to talk about. And explained in detail what his medals and ribbons meant. Anyhow it's a tough thing to watch your mother die. Family was relived she was released no more pain no more suffering and were amazed her body and spirit lasted so long. Enclosed are pics of war time William and later years of him and his wife.
Now they are together again.
I just hope his family keep his medals to honor his memory and service.
 

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William and his wife were both from Idaho spent a lot of time in Arizona before ending up in CA. His house is full of Indian artifacts and wood work carvings he did. His daughter Linda is not sure who is going to end up with his medals. She for sure is holding on to his casket flag. Funeral is this Tues his wife will be laid to rest by his side. My daughter and I plan on being there. Not much longer and all the WWII era people will be gone. I reminded Linda that we are the last generation that personally knew the parents of our parents who were born in the late 1800's. She told me her grandmother was born in the 1870's so the beat goes on and soon our generation will be gone too.
 

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Thank you, Dow.
Pat
 

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Interesting coincidence in that a close friend of our family, Wendell Tobler, died not too long ago in Las Vegas. He was a B-24 ball turret gunner based in Italy. He too got in 35 missions, received 2 DFCs, a Silver Star, Purple Heart and a handful of Air Medals. Could be that he and William flew out of the same region, as many of the B-24s were based in Italy. Fortunately, before Wendell passed on, he consented to a live interview with the Las Vegas Review Journal newspaper and they made a CD of it that I have played many times. It's a fascinating interview and you can only ask, where did people like William and Wendell come from and aren't we fortunate that they answered the call?
Lyn
 
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