Pearce, William L., 1LT

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Last Rank
First Lieutenant
Last Service Branch
Last Primary MOS
AAF 1054-Pilot - Two-Engine
Last MOS Group
Aviation (Enlisted)
Primary Unit
1942-1944, AAF 1054, US Army Air Force (USAAF)
Service Years
1942 - 1944


First Lieutenant

Two Overseas Service Bars

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by SGT Robert Briggs (squadleader)-Deceased to remember Pearce, William L., 1LT.

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Casualty Info
Home Town
Not Specified
Last Address
San Antonio

Casualty Date
Sep 21, 1944
Hostile, Died while Missing
Air Loss, Crash - Land
World War II
Location of Interment
Not Specified
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Association Memberships
World War II Fallen
  1944, World War II Fallen [Verified]

 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar

AAF Pilot Badge

 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
US Army Air Force (USAAF)
  1942-1944, AAF 1054, US Army Air Force (USAAF)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1943-1943 Sicily Campaign (1943)/Operation Husky
  1944-1944 Operation Overlord/D-Day Beach Landings - Operation Neptune
  1944-1944 Rhineland Campaign (1944-45)/Operation Market Garden2
 Colleges Attended 
  1939-1941, San Antonio College San Antonio, TX
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
1st Lt. Pearce served with the 309th Troop Carrier Squadron, 309th Troop Carrier Group, 8th Army Air Force. The unit was based at RAF Spanhoe (Army Air Force Station 493), based near Uppingham, Northamptonshire, England.

On 21 September 1944, he was aboard a C-47A (tail number 42-93029) crewed by five AAF airmen. The aircraft was delivering 16 Polish paratroopers to a drop zone south of Arnhem, Holland, in support of “Operation Market Garden.” Soon after departing the drop zone, the plane was observed to be on fire beneath the pilot compartment. It crashed, burst into flames and there were no survivors. The Germans opened the dikes in the region where the plane crashed and flooded the area before any remains could be recovered. Missing Air Crew Report (MACR) 10135

AAF Crew:
TSgt Russell W. Abendschoen (Crew Chief)
1st Lt. Cecil W. Biggs (Pilot)
SSgt George G. Herbst (Radio Operator)
2nd Lt. William L. Pearce (Co-Pilot)
2nd Lt. Thomas R. Yenner (Navigator)

The remains were interred in Arlington National Cemetery and other locations in July 2007. Some of the remains were discovered by Dutch citizens following the War, buried. They were re-interred in 1950 in Zachary Taylor National Cemetery, Kentucky in a single mass grave until more remains were discovered in 1994.
Enlisted at Randolph Field, TX on 1/28/42 Two years of College.

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