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Donald James Wellings

Military

Navigator Donald Wellings flew 30 missions with the 323rd Sqdn at Bassingbourn.

On 22nd March 1945 he married Lt. Martha Anne Viola a surgical nurse with the 163rd General Hospital, their honeymoon in Devon being enabled by a flight on B-17 43-38939 and - when he returned to the USA - re-trained as a pilot flying P-51's and P80's with the 56th Fighter Group. He did tours in Hawaii, Alaska and England and two postings with the Pentagon during his time in the service.

Service

Units served with

  • 8th Air Force

    8th Air Force


    Eighth Air Force Bomber Command became the Eighth Air Force on February 1944, it oversaw bombardment of strategic targets in Europe until 1945. ...

  • 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars

    91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars

    Group
    The 91st Bombardment Group (Heavy) was activated at Harding Field, Louisiana on 15-April-1942 and went to MacDill Field, Florida for the first phase of training from 16-May-1942 to 25-June-1942. The Group was then assigned to 2nd Air Force at Walla...

  • 323rd Bomb Squadron

Aircraft

  • 43-38083 HAPPY VALLEY EXPRESS

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 24/6/44; Hunter 14/7/44; Dow Fd 23/7/44; Assigned 323BS/91BG [OR-V] Bassingbourn 11/8/44; 48m battle damaged Aschaffenburg 22/1/45 with Nelson Van Blarcom, ; flak KO’d two engines and cut out electrics, equipment was dumped to enable...

  • 43-38939 Peace or Bust

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Hunter 19/10/44; Dow Fd 27/10/44; Assigned 323BS/91BG [OR-A] Bassingbourn 2/12/44; (took nav Capt Wellings on honeymoon trip to Devon 22/3/44!); 37m severe battle damaged Coesfeld 11/4/45 with Lt Dean; force landed continent; Salvaged 9AF...

Associated Place

  • Bassingbourn

    Military site : airfield
    Now home to a museum all about the aifield and its USAAF residents (http://www.towermuseumbassingbourn.co.uk/) , Bassingbourn opened in 1938 as part of the RAF's pre-war expansion programme. The RAF continued to use it until late in 1942 when its long...

Events

Event Location Date
Born Tacoma, WA 26 July 1923

Son of Donald and Martha Wellings.

Based Bassingbourn 1944 – 1945

Assigned to 323BS, 91BG, 8AF USAAF.

Died Friday Harbor, WA 23 October 2002
Buried Tahoma National Cemetery Kent, King County, WA 27 October 2002

Tahoma National Cemetery
Kent, King County,
Washington

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
20 December 2020 22:00:58 Al_Skiff Changes to middlename, service number, highest rank, biography, awards, events, unit associations and aircraft associations
Sources

https://www.fold3.com/image/312127450
https://www.fold3.com/image/219839620
https://www.fold3.com/image/649482029
https://www.fold3.com/record/72912371/social-security-death-index-donald...
https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/46272733/donald-james-wellings

Date Contributor Update
26 February 2020 11:00:13 general ira snapsorter Changes to place associations and aircraft associations
Sources

http://www.91stbombgroup.com/crewphotos/happy_valley_express.html

Date Contributor Update
26 February 2020 10:59:20 general ira snapsorter Created entry with surname, middlename, firstname, nationality, highest rank, role, biography and unit associations
Sources

Biography completed by historian Helen Millgate. Information sourced from newsletters of the 91st Bomb Group related to the service of Donald Wellings.

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