Robert H. Willis: For extraordinary achievement while serving as pilot of a B-17 aircraft on a heavy bombardment mission over Merseburg, Germany, 30 November 1944. Shortly after bombs away, Lieutenant Willis' aircraft was struck by anti-aircraft fire which disabled two engines and damaged the rudder and elevator cables. Despite the crippled condition of his aircraft he succeeded in returning to his home base where he made a safe landing without the use of his flaps. The coolness, courage and superior airmanship displayed by Lieutenant Willis on this occasion reflect highest credit upon himself and the Army Air Force.
The 490th Bomb Group, like the 486th and 487th Bomb Groups transitioned from flying B-24 Liberators to B-17 Flying Fortresses, which were used in combat missions from late August 1944. Based at Eye, Suffolk, the Group were focused in the early months...
Military | Captain | Pilot
At 12,000 feet, they were losing 400 feet a minute. With his “Flying Fortress” so badly damaged it could scarcely reach the speed of a fast car, Willis and his co-pilot took turns nursing the aptly-dubbed Heavy plane home using only one engine.