Koch, William S

Individual Personnel Data
Name Koch, William S, "Willie"
Rank Second Lieutenant
Serial Number O-793784
Unit Assignments Assigned to the 547th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), per Gowen Field, Boise, Idaho, Special Orders #70 dated 11 March 1943, effective 11 March 1943.
Duty Pilot
MOS1091 - Pilot, B-17
Last Duty Date April 1943
Results Transferred
Additional Information
  • Koch developed an ear infection in April 1943, after transferring with the Group to Sioux City, Iowa. He was replaced on the crew by 2Lt Johnny Butler (546th BS Asst. Ops. Officer) who flew to England - and into combat - with the crew. Koch eventually transferred out of the 384th, but the date of that event is not found in records currently on hand (2018).
Photo Album:Crew Photo Album

Crew Composition When Assigned to the 384th BG
Original 384th Combat Crew
2nd Lt. Koch, William S, "Willie"PilotTR
2nd Lt. Wollenweber, Herman, JrCo-pilotPOW
2nd Lt. Knowling, Edward JohnsonNavigatorPOW
2nd Lt. Baggs, Joseph WilliamBombardierCT
S/SGT. Davis, Preston AllenRadio Operator / GunnerPOW
S/SGT. Turlington, Howard JoeEngineer / Top Turret GunnerEV
S/SGT. Wolven, William David, "Bill"Ball Turret GunnerKIA
S/SGT. Martin, Burnia ((NMI)Tail GunnerPOW
S/SGT. Ordaz, Armando NoriegaFlexible GunnerPOW
S/SGT. Rogers, Marion ColemanFlexible GunnerKIA

Crew History

The Koch Crew joined the 547th BS on 11 March 1943. Johnny Butler took over this crew when it was found that Koch needed additional training before being qualified for overseas combat duty. They were identified as Crew #19 on the Special Orders assigning them to the 384th, and became Crew #78 (547th BS, 8th crew).

This crew flew to England together (Captain Dillingham took Herman Wollenweber's place, and Wollenweber flew as Selden McMillin's copilot), and flew many missions together. Eventually, pressures of combat caused changes to the crew, a common occurrence during wartime.

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