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Colonel  William.L."Bill" Welch Col USAF Ret.

Squadron: 403BS

Position: B-17,B-24. Aircraft Commander,Engineering Off, Commanding Officer 403rd (apr 43to Nov43)Tough work but someone had to do it

Served: Sept 1940 to Oct 68

Originally from: St Louis Missouri

Training: Sparton,Tulsa Okla.Randolph & Brooks Fields

Citations/Medals: dfc,air medals w/clusters usual service medals during war.

Planes: B-17 Lil Buster Upper,Well endowed young lady.B-24 Satans Sister,Well Endowed young lady holding Bomb(I have picture dtd 10Oct43 with last crew if front of this acft)Crew chiefs plus unknown artist usually did the job(good question)

Number of Missions: 98 Combat Missions

Description of Missions:
Midway 5June 42,Sept 42 to Nov43, Rabaul, Buna, Glauster, Bismark sea, Wewak New Britian & New Ireland Islands & points in between.

Most poignant, sad or touching memory of the war:
Seeing several young Luiets killed by straffers as they stood with mouths openin front of hanger while I and my crew hunkered down with bullets whizzing overour heads on Dec 7 1941 at Hickam Field.

Funniest or most fun memory of the war:
Lots of funny things but not worth recording

Any odd or strange memories from the war:
Lots of memories but strange-?

Most heroic thing I saw or did:
Just good men doing there job.

Where I was and how I celebrated when I learned the war was over:
I had 33 B-29s in the air with students at Maxwell AFB when the peace was declaired- they of course wanted to celebrate by forming up and flying a low pass over MontgomeryAla I had to go to tower, beg & finally order them down safe & sound. They didbut very reluctantly.

How having gone to war has affected me, what comes to mindwhen I think of the war:
No damage I think.Pride of service both during war & after. Comradship, militarydiscipline, knowing you could count on your fellow man,gave me great love for the USAF.Training Command Commandos were very unfriendly people they all thought I was there to there job & they would have to go to war. After volunteering for B-29s & China several times they finally gave me a B-29 Training Group in late 44.Imarried in Dec43 a month after arriving home & we have been married for over 56years.

To future generations:
Life is great-live it to the fullist-respect your fellow man & they will respectyou.War is hell but someone has to do it, be a man and do your share or like Clinton live with you actions the rest of your life.

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