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William B Kennedy


"Flew my first mission in June, 1944 and my last in October, 1944"

Bill has written up memories of his time with the 100th Bomb Group for the Association's website. Read the full version here:

Here is an excerpt:
On seeing the sky full of bombers, he wrote:
"When the days were clear, it was surreal. Blue sky above and red rooftops dotting green ground below. There were eerie, hollow hums and whines on VHF. Contrails got to be a hazard, forcing succeeding groups higher. On Mes (Maximum Efforts) it was possible for the large number of planes to create so many contrails that it amounted to an artificial overcast."

"Try flying formation on instruments. The one at the controls fixed on the lead ship, the other pilot calling out attitude from the instrument panel to help overcome vertigo. For example: "...level, ...shallow turn left, ...climbing turn right." Formations flying in the soup didn't hold together very long."

"The most nerve-wracking part of the flight? All of it, especially the bomb run. The most boring part of the flight? None of it."


Units served with

  • 100th Bomb Group

    100th Bomb Group

    "The Bloody Hundredth", so-called because of a reputation for losing a high number aircraft and crews, flew B-17s from Thorpe Abbotts, Norfolk. Their losses were not the highest of any Eighth Air Force Group but on several occasions the Group lost many...

  • 351st Bomb Squadron

Associated Place

  • Thorpe Abbotts

    Military site : airfield
    Home of the 'Bloody Hundredth’, a Bomb Group with a reputation for high casualty rates, Thorpe Abbotts was under USAAF control from June 1943 to the end of the war. Some of the airfield survives today, and the control tower houses the 100th Bomb Group...


Event Location Date
Flew first mission Fallersleben, Wolfsburg, Germany 20 June 1944

To Fallersleben, Germany

Flew last mission Cologne, Germany 17 October 1944

To Cologne, Germany


Date Contributor Update
04 December 2014 09:35:57 Lucy May Changes to awards

Changed 'Air Medal with 4 Oak Leaf Clusters' to 'Air Medal with 5 oak leaf clusters (1 silver oak leaf cluster)' as per William B Kennedy's email to the museum.

Date Contributor Update
03 December 2014 19:25:48 BeeKay44 Changes to awards

Source is William B. Kennedy, Pilot, 351st Bomb Squadron, 100th Bomb Group (H).

Date Contributor Update
03 December 2014 00:59:56 BeeKay44 Changes to highest rank

I have corrected my rank to 1st Lieutenant.


William B. Kennedy

Date Contributor Update
02 December 2014 16:12:38 LucyMM Changes to events

Added details to existing events.

Date Contributor Update
02 December 2014 14:09:50 Lucy May Created entry with surname, middlename, firstname, nickname, nationality, service number, highest rank, role, biography, unit associations and place associations

100th Bomb Group page on Bill Kennedy: