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PARSONS, WILLIAM G.

WILLIAM G. PARSONS U.S. Army Air Corps WWII
WILLIAM G. PARSONS U.S. Army Air Corps WWII


 
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WILLIAM G. PARSONS was born in New York in 1919. He was the son of Argyll and Eleanor Parsons lived on Guion Road and were members of Christ Church. William served as an officer in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II.
Date of Birth: Oct. 22, 1919
Died On: Feb. 25, 1944
Street Address: Guion Road
Service Number: O-746166
Branch of Service: U.S. Army Air Corps - 27th Fighter Squadron, 1st Fighter Group

Veteran Code: KIA-31


BIOGRAPHY Search for Newspaper Articles on this Veteran Extended Information
 
First Lieutenant William Parsons U. S. Army Air Corps - 27th Fighter Squadron, 1st Fighter Group, Air Medal with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters, Purple Heart

William was a member of the distinguished 27th Flying Squadron flying Lockheed P-38 Lightnings. Six months of continuous combat in North Africa was followed by a short break, flying reconnaissance and escort missions around the Mediterranean. The respite ended on 15 August 1943, as air attacks increased against southern Italy in preparation for landings at Salerno. On 25 August, the 1st FG launched 65 P-38s, and joined with 85 other fighters, conducted a fighter-bomber attack against the airfield complex at Foggia. In addition to strafing ground targets, pilots of the 1st FG damaged or destroyed 88 German aircraft, with a loss of two P-38s.

For this mission, the group received its first Distinguished Unit Citation (DUC). Five days later, on 30 August, the 1st Fighter Group earned its second DUC. The group flew 44 aircraft in escorting B-26 bombers to the railroad marshalling yards at Aversa, Italy, and were opposed by approximately 75–100 German fighters. Outnumbered two to one, the group engaged the Luftwaffe for 40 minutes, enabling the bombers to strike their target and return to base without loss, but in doing so lost 13 fighters themselves, with 10 pilots killed.

The 1st Fighter Group became part of the newly created Fifteenth Air Force in December 1943 and moved to Italy, temporarily based at several airfields until its base at Salsola Airfield was ready on 8 January 1944. Living and supply conditions improved for the airmen, who received new P-38Js in the spring.

First Lieutenant William Parsons 27th Fighter Squadron was the top-scoring unit of the 1st Fighter Group in World War II, with 83 of its pilots credited with 176. 5 victories.

William died while his P-38 was shot down escorting a bombing mission attacking the Messerschmitt factory at Regensburg, Germany. He was the youngest of the five Parson children.





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