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Willard F Perry

Military

Willard F. Perry and his family lived in Monroe, Michigan at 208 Riverview Avenue. Born in 1924, Willard had one older brother named Oliver. Willard lived with his dad, mom, brother and Ralph D. Delisle and Edna Delisle who his parents rented a room to, to help improve the family’s finances. His dad was a shipping clerk for a local paper mill, making $2,000 a year and his mom took care of the family. Willard’s mom completed 6th grade and his dad completed 8th grade. However, they made education a priority for their boys. Willard attended Monroe High School, and played varsity tennis, he graduated in 1942. After graduation he was employed at the the A&P before he was drafted.
Willard volunteered for the Army on March 29, 1943. On April 5th he was sent to Fort Custer and after a few days to St. Petersburg, Florida for training as part of the Army Air Corps. He finished his basic training at Clearwater, Florida and on May 25th was sent to technical school after earning the rank of Private First Class. In January of 1944 Willard was one of a class of aerial gunners to graduate from gunnery school in Harlington, Texas receiving his aerial gunner wings and a promotion to Corporal.

After training, Corporal Perry was assigned to the 446th Bomb Group who came to be known as “the Bungay Buckaroos” after their base in Suffolk, England. They flew B-24 Liberators on strategic and support missions over Europe, the group was engaged in long-range strategic bombardment of enemy targets in Occupied Europe and Nazi Germany, the group attacked transportation, industrial, oil and other targets as directed. They were also involved in tactical bombardment of enemy forces in France in support of the Operation Overlord landings in Normandy, and the break out in St. Lo in July 1944. The group changed equipment from B-24 Liberators to B-17 Flying Fortresses in July 1944, before they returned to bomb Berlin and other Germany targets. In August of 1944 Willard was awarded a second Oak Leaf Cluster to his Air Medal.
Sergeant Perry lost his life on a bombing mission over Mainz, Germany October 19th. A direct hit from anti-aircraft fire forced the crew to bail out. His body was later found in Germany and re-buried in St. Avold, France. Word was received October 24th by Mr. and Mrs. Winfield Perry of Riverview Avenue that their son is presumed dead by the War Department. Perry who would have been 20 years old that month. In January 1949 the Army announced that they would return Willard’s body from France to Monroe for re-burial at the Field of Honor in Roselawn Memorial Park Cemetery at the request of the family. Air Force Veteran of foreign War Post 1138 served as the honor guard for Willard’s funeral.

Killed in Action (KIA) Crashed near Prum in B-24 'Slightly Dangerous' #4250681

Service

Units served with

  • 446th Bomb Group

    446th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 446th Bomb Group, who came to be known as "the Bungay Buckaroos" after the name of their Suffolk base, flew B-24 Liberators on strategic, support and interdictory missions over Europe. The Group led the Eighth Air Force and 2nd Bomb Division on the...

  • 704th Bomb Squadron

Aircraft

  • 42-50681 Slightly Dangerous

    B-24 Liberator
    Crashed "Hohe Wurzel" 2 kilometres SSE of Seitzenhahn near Wiesbaden, Ger on 19 OCT 1944 (MACR 9633 page 9 - no mention of "Prum" in the whole MACR) with Martin J. Mullane (Pilot, KIA), Norman Marshank (cp, PoW), Louis Kieffer (nav, PoW), Ralph...

Events

Event Location Date
Born Monroe, Michigan, USA 1924

Willard attended Monroe High School, and played varsity tennis, he graduated in 1942.

After graduation he was employed at the the A&P before he was drafted.

Enlisted Germany 29 March 1943 – 19 October 1944

Willard volunteered for the Army on March 29, 1943. On April 5th he was sent to Fort Custer and after a few days to St. Petersburg, Florida for training as part of the Army Air Corps.

Died 19 October 1944

Sergeant Perry lost his life on a bombing mission over Mainz, Germany October 19th. A direct hit from anti-aircraft fire forced the crew to bail out. His body was later found in Germany and re-buried in St. Avold, France.

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
08 June 2016 16:46:15 A Hill Changes to biography and events
Sources

Niedermeier Center for Education - Public History Seminar 2016

Monroe Evening News

“Willard Franklin Perry- Inducted” News Of The Services.30 July 1943
News Of The Services. “Willard F. Perry.” Monroe Evening News [Monroe Mi.] 29 January 1944
News Of The Services. “Willard F. Perry.” Monroe Evening News [Monroe Mi.] 31 August 1944
“Missing: Willard F. Perry.” Monroe Evening News [Monroe Mi.] 7 November 1944
“Presumed Dead: Willard F. Perry.” Monroe Evening News [Monroe, Mi] 31 October 1945
“W. F. Perry’s Body Is Being Returned.” Monroe Evening News [Monroe, Mi] 8 January 1949

U.S. Federal Census
Year: 1930 Census Place: Monroe, Michigan; Roll 1013; page: 4B; Enumeration District: 0027; Image: 269.0; FHL microfilm: 2340748
Year: 1940; Census Place: Monroe, Michigan; Roll: T627_1792; Page: 9A; Enumeration District: 58-36

Monroe County Library—Local History Room

The Lotus Leaf—Monroe High School Yearbook (1942) Local History Collection, Ellis Branch, Monroe County Library System, Monroe, MI

Monroe County Historical Museum (Military and Family Records Sheets Box 2 Folder 13- Shirley E. Keehn)
https://8thafhs.org/bomber/446bg.htm Eighth Air Force Historical Society “446th Bombardment Group”

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:27:27 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / MACR 9633 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database

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