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Personnel

Lt

William E. BALDWIN

Army Serial Number: O-783669
Assigned to the 100th Bombardment Group
Location:
Unit: 351st Bombardment Squadron
Rank:
Position: Copilot/Pilot
Beginning Date of 100th Service: Unknown
Time of Service at Thorpe Abbotts: Unknown - Unknown

Additional 100th Service Notes

Status: KIA
MACR: 13717
CR: 13717
Comments: 3 APR 45 KIEL (FLAK - EXP)

Media Articles

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Media ItemTypePageVolume/IssueBroadcast SourceTimeDescriptionFile
William Baldwin training PrintSan Diego Union Nov 1 194412:00 am
William Baldwin graduatesPrintSan Diego Union August 20 194412:00 am
William Baldwin MIAPrintSan Diego Union May 19 194512:00 am
William Baldwin ServicesPrintSan Diego Union July 21 194912:00 am

Comments and Notes

Memo 1:
CREW

2nd Lt Robert C. Fletcher P FEH (WIA 18/3/45 BERLIN)
2nd Lt William E .Baldwin,Jr. CP KIA 3/4/45 KIEL
F/O John H.Buckley NAV KIA 3/4/45 KIEL
Sgt Randolf A.Goodwin BOM KIA 3/4/45 KIEL
Cpl Kermit E.Jones ROG POW 3/4/45 KIEL
Cpl Kenneth E.Wright TTE KIA 3/4/45 KIEL
Cpl Leslie O.Davis NG KIA 3/4/45 KIEL
Cpl Alfred Mantopoli WG KIA 3/4/45 KIEL MACR #13717,Micro-fiche unk
Cpl Ogden W.Barron TG KIA 3/4/45 KIEL A/C #43 38992

351st Sqdn. Joined the 100th Group,as above, on 4/3/45.
This crew,with Lt. Robert C. Fletcher as pilot,joined the 100th GP on 4/3/45. He was LWA on 18/3/45 mission to Berlin and apparently Lt. Baldwin took over as Pilot. On 3/4/45,Robt.Fletcher was not flying,his place was taken by William Baldwin and 2nd Lt. Francis G.Beedle (from the crew of R.C.Ellis) was flying as CP. In addition S/Sgt.Howard 0. Weber (from the crew of Lt R.C.Ellis) was aboard as radar Controller He became a POW.

Mission: Kiel 351st Sqdn.
Date: 3 April 1945 A/C #43-38992

Source:MISSING AIR CREW REPORT #13717
Letter from Kermit E.Jones 17/6/82.

2nd Lt William E.Baldwin,Jr. P KIA
2nd Lt Francis G.Beedle CP KIA
F/O John H.Buckley NAV KIA
Sgt Leslie O.Davis TOG KIA
Sgt Kermit E.Jones ROG POW
Sgt Kenneth E.Wright TTE KIA
Sgt Randolph A.Goodwin BTG KIA
Sgt Alfred Mantopoli WG KIA
Sgt Ogden W.Barron TG KIA
S/Sgt Howard O.Weber Rad/Cont. POW

This crew,with Lt. Robert C. Fletcher as pilot,joined the 100th GP on 4/3/45. He was
LWA on 18/3/45 mission to Berlin and apparently Lt. Baldwin took over as Pilot.
Lt. Francis Beedle had been the CP on the crew of Lt. R.C.Ellis and
S/Sgt Howard Weber was an original member of Lt R.C. Ellis Lead Crew

Eyewitness report had following to say: "A/C #992 was unable to release bombs over
target and retained them until formation reached 5417-0600E on return route. Bombs
were then released. The A/C appeared to be undamaged and continued on with the for-
mation to 5405-0620E at 1850 hours when wheels were lowered and pilot called over
VHF saying he was low on gas and would try to get back alone. The A/C peeled off
and down toward the undercast. When the formation reached 5250-0300E at 1952 hours,
a VHF message from A/C 992 was received saying that 80 gallons of gas per engine
was left and the A/C was an estimated 15 minutes from land. Nothing further was
heard. Other pilots suggest that cloud conditions were favorable for icing and that
A/C may have been lost due to ice picked up in passing through clouds."

Actually,icing was not the problem as Kermit Jones explains. "We were returning
from Kiel when it was discovered we were running out of gas so we headed for
Belgium. While enroute,and over the first Frisian Island off the Peninsula of Holland,
at an altitude of 5000 feet,we wera hit by flak which destroyed two engines and
set the ship on fire."

According to Jones,he,Goodwin and Wright bailed out but the others did not and the
A/C exploded upon hitting the ground. Jones adds that, "Sgt. Goodwin landed on the
island (Texel) and shed his chute and flying boots. These were later shown to us by
the Germans with a comment that Sgt.Goodwin was dead. The Germans at the same time
showed us the seven pairs of twisted and burned dog tags of remaining members of
the crew with a statement that they were all dead."

Of considerable interest in connection with the loss of this crew is a letter
from "The Mayor of Texel" dated 11 Feb.1946 and apparently directed to someone
who had inquired about the burial of Sgt Barron.

"In answer to your letter of 5 February,we can assure you that the grave of
Sgt.Ogden N. Barron indeed is known.
The plane was shot down on April 3.1945 at 20 hours (8 p.m.) and fell
near Horntje in the southern part of Texel Island (However, this is also not exactly the crash location;
It is better to mention " near Watermolenweg in Hoornder Nieuwland ".)
The plane had posslbly a crew ofseven men. Two persons,their names not known, (they were Jones & Weber)
were taken prisoner by the Germans. The bodies of two persons, namely,Sgt Ogden W.Barron
number 420C0553 and Sgt.Randolph Goodwin, number 39855835 were identified.These
two people died instantly when the plane struck the ground. Also,two others
occupants who tried to leave the plane by parachute were killed instantly on
account of the Plane being too close to the ground.Their names ere not known.

The possibly seventh occupant has never been found,either he fell into the sea
or was obliterated under the plane when it fell dowm.

The bodies of the four crew members were buried on April 10/1945 in the Allied
cemetary of the town Den Burg at Textel Island. The funeral services were somewhat
delayed on account of a general uprising amongst the people with many things abnormal
for a few days. The graves were marked with a wooden cross.
On Dec.7,1945 the American Graves Registration Command recovered the bodies of the
American boys and reburied them in the American cemetary "Margraten" in the
province of Limburg."

In two quite touching letters written by one A. van Dienst,an official of Den Burg,
to the mother of John Buckley 30/5/46 and 25/11/46) he attcmpts to solace
Mrs Buckley and, at the same time,explain the difficulties met with in identifying
the airmen who perished in the crash. "parts of different bodies were found,
namely two bodies and four pair of hands, partly burnt, found in or near the plane.
These were buried in one coffin at 10 April 45 in the war cemetary of Den Burg
about 20 metres from my house."

Van Dienst then proposes the possibility that some human remains, if not consumed
by fire, might still be in "parts of the plane that are pushed deep into the
ground". He further promises to attempt to interest the American Graves Registration
in digging up the buried aircraft to search for any remains.

In the letter of 25/11/46, van Dienst writes Mrs Buckley that Graves Registration
had further examined the wreckage and had been able to identify remains of William
E.Baldwin, Francis G.Beedle, Sgt Alfred Mantopoli and Kenneth Wright.

Thus we know that F/O John Buckley and Sgt Leslie O,Davis were the two unidentified
crewmen "buried in one coffin" on 10 April 1945. van Dienst concludes his letter
to Mrs.Buckley by saying that the cross marking this grave reads "Unknown American
Flyers" but the rear side of the cross now says, "Probably, F/O John H.Buckley and
Sgt Leslie O.Davis".

Original Crew as joined the 100th…
2nd Lt Robert C.Fletcher P FEH (WIA 18/3/45 BERLIN)
2nd Lt William E.Baldwin,Jr. CP KIA 3/4/45 KIEL
F/O John H.Buckley NAV KIA 3/4/45 KIEL
Sgt Randolf A.Goodwin BOM KIA 3/4/45 KIEL
Cpl Kermit E.Jones ROG POW 3/4/45 KIEL
Cpl Kenneth E.Wright TTE KIA 3/4/45 KIEL
Cpl Leslie O.Davis NG KIA 3/4/45 KIEL
Cpl Alfred Mantopoli WG KIA 3/4/45 KIEL MACR #13717,Micro-fiche unk
Cpl Ogden W.Barron TG KIA 3/4/45 KIEL A/C #43 38992

351st Sqdn. Joined the 100th Group,as above, on 4/3/45.

On 3/4/45,Robt.Fletcher was not flying,his place was taken by William Baldwin and 2nd Lt.
Francis G.Beedle (from the crew of R.C.Ellis) was flying as CP. In addition S/Sgt.Howard 0.
Weber (from the crew of R.C.Ellis) was aboard as radar Controller He became a POW.
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REPLY TO: bergen5696@msn.com
SUBMITTER: Dan Bergen
EMAIL: bergen5696@msn.com
PURPOSE: Contact historian
INTEREST: I am the veteran's relative

MESSAGE: My wife is a niece of William Baldwin Pilot of A/C 992 which crashed on Texel Island.

From the web site it appears that a nice memorial has been constructed at what I assume was the crash site. If possible I would like to obtain the specific location (Road/ Hwy KM Marker etc). At this time Uncle Bill is survived by his three sisters, his parents and only brother have since died.

We would be willing to provide additional detail if you would like.

Dan & Melony Bergen
145 Estack Place
Highlands Ranch, CO 80126


William Baldwin Jr. was born June 25, 1922 in San Diego, CA (born and raised) , (not Allegheny County PA)

Then youngest sibling is a Sister Shirley Ruth (born San Diego, CA about Nov 1935.)
Memo 2:
William E. Baldwin, Jr. was born in San Diego, California on June 25, 1922. His parents were William E., Sr. and Florence Baldwin. The US Censuses of 1930 and 1940 list the family living in San Diego.

It is not known when Baldwin first entered the military, but judging from age, experience, and rank, 1942 would be reasonable guess. The first mention of him in military records located is as a co-pilot on the original crew of Lt Robert C. Fletcher in March, 1945, in England, newly-arrived.

The crew flew its first combat mission on March 18, 1945, over Berlin, Germany. Lt Fletcher was wounded in action, and removed from the crew. Lt Baldwin took over as pilot. Lt Beedle, from the original crew of Lt Ellis, became co-pilot. Also, SSgt Weber joined the crew as radar controller. The crew continued to fly missions against German targets. On April 3, 1945, they were sent to attack the submarine pens at Kiel, Germany. While returning from a successful mission, as the formation passed over the Friesian Islands off the Dutch coast, flak batteries opened up.

The aircraft of Baldwin was hit by flak knocking out two engines and starting an interior fire. The crew attempted to bail out, but the aircraft exploded. Wreckage fell on the island of Texel, off the coast of Holland. Two of the crew were captured. Two bodies were identified, and two were not. All 4 were recovered from the wreckage, and were buried in Den Burg, Texel Island.In December, 1945, these bodies were recovered by Allied troops and moved to Margraten Cemetery. Body parts of two men were put into one coffin and buried in Den Burg. (Later, it was shown these remains were Buckley and Davis.) In 1946, bodies were re-inspected and all identified.

No other bodies were found, and after the war, Baldwin was moved to where he lies today - in the Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery in San Diego, California in Section H. Site 604.

Lt William E. Baldwin, Jr. was performing duties as First Pilot on B-17G # 43-38992, unnamed, assigned to the 351st Bomb Squadron.

To account for this loss, Missing Air Crew Report 13717 was issued. Personnel and crew files show the crew on board were:

2 Lt William E. Baldwin, Jr p
2 Lt Francis G. Beedle c-p
F/O John H. Buckley nav
Sgt Leslie O. Davis tog
Sgt Kenneth E. Wright eng/tt gun
Sgt Kermit E. Jones r/o
Sgt Randolph A. Goodwin btg
Sgt Alfred Mantopoli wg
Sgt Ogden W. Barron tail gun
SSgt Howard O. Weber rad cont

Sgts Jones and Weber were captured. All others were killed.

KIA / MIA / EVA / INT Information:

Target:
Keil
Aircraft:
(43-38992)
Date:
1945-04-03
Cause:
FLAK, Fire & Explosion

Photos

William Baldwin Crew

Robert C. Fletcher / William E. Baldwin Crew (left to right) Kneeling: Leslie O. Davis, Kenneth (Kenny) Wright, Alfred (Al) Mantopoli, Ogden W. Barron, Randolph (Randy) Goodwin, Kermit E. Jones Standing: Perry Skinner, John Buckley, William Baldwin, Robert Fletcher Note: Skinner and Fletcher were not in the crashed aircraft. Beedle, Davis and Weber are not pictured. (Picture and info courtesy of Wilhelm Bakker)

William E. Baldwin

William E. Baldwin 351st P California KIA 3 Apr 45 Kiel William Baldwin Crew William E Baldwin tombstone at Fort Rosecrans, San Diego, CA - Photo provided by Dan Bergen and the Baldwin family - Nov 2007

Crew List

1st Crew List

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Rank Name Pos Status
Lt BALDWIN, William E. CP/P KIA
F/O BUCKLEY, John H. NAV KIA
Sgt DAVIS, Leslie O. TOG/NG KIA
T/SGT WRIGHT, Kenneth E. TTE KIA
T/Sgt JONES, Kermit E. ROG POW
S/Sgt MANTOPOLI, Alfred WG KIA
Sgt BARRON, Ogden W. TG KIA
2nd Crew List

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Rank Name Pos Status
Lt BALDWIN, William E. CP/P KIA
Sgt WEBER, Howard O. RAD POW
Lt BEEDLE, Francis G. CP KIA
S/Sgt GOODWIN, Randolph A. BTG KIA
3rd Crew List

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Rank Name Pos Status
T/SGT PERRY, Joseph J. WG FEH
4th Crew List

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Rank Name Pos Status
Lt BALDWIN, William E. CP/P KIA
LT FLETCHER, Robert C. P WIA
F/O BUCKLEY, John H. NAV KIA
Sgt DAVIS, Leslie O. TOG/NG KIA
T/SGT WRIGHT, Kenneth E. TTE KIA
T/Sgt JONES, Kermit E. ROG POW
S/Sgt GOODWIN, Randolph A. BTG KIA
S/Sgt MANTOPOLI, Alfred WG KIA
Sgt BARRON, Ogden W. TG KIA