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Lt. W.S. Andrews BG 495th BS and 494th BS

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W.S. (Bill) Andrews, Jr was born in Castleberry, AL on July 5, 1921. After attending the University of Alabama for two years, he entered the Aviation Cadets on September 1, 1942, at San Antonio, TX. He was commissioned as a 2nd Lt on October 1, 1943 at Lubbock Field, TX.

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Assigned to the 344th Bomb Group, he flew as part of the 495th Bomb Squadron. He and his crew flew their B-26 from the U.S. to England, via the “Southern Route” in January 1944. Also see “Southern Route”

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As co-pilot on the crew of Don Deffke, he flew his first 40-odd missions in the “Buzzard” 42-95909 Y5-G.

As per 344th Aircraft Spreadsheet: Original group aircraft, assigned to the 344th BG at Hunter Field. Flown overseas to the UK via the Southern Ferry Route (Listed as Carribean Wing), departing the USA on 20/1/44. The aircraft record card then lists, SOXO A (Europe – 8th AF) on 20/1/44, SOXO R (Europe – 8th AF) from 19/2/44, and GLUE 9AF from 25/4/44. Flown overseas in January 1944 by 1st Lt. Donald E Deffke. Badly damaged by flak on the 9/8/44 mission to Brest Harbour, France. Transferred to the 387th BG following repairs.
344BG495BS USAAF-42-95875-B-26B-Marauder-9AF--Y5-G-The-Buzzard-01
In August 1944, he was transferred to the 494th Bomb Squadron, where he flew the balance of his 65 missions as aircraft commander with various crews.
Bill was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for action against the enemy on D-Day and for attacking ships in Brest harbor.
He was also awarded the Air Medal, with 12 Oak Leaf Clusters.

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According to his son, Joe Andrews, “As far as stories, dad wasn’t very forthcoming, which I think was pretty common among that generation. I thought that after I became an Air Force pilot, he might feel more comfortable opening up, but it never was the case. I never knew that he lost six of his hut mates on one mission until I started looking through his documentation.

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These were the men in Andrews’ hut at Stansted. On 28, May 1944, six of the ten were lost on the same mission to Paris. (those killed in italics.

Click to see MACR report)
Front:

Capt J.W. Seale-pilot,

Lt S.W. Peterson-pilot,

Lt T.T. Cole-bombardier,

(unk first name or job).

Back:

Lt. E.D. Moffett-Navigator,

Lt. J. Johnston-Bombardier,

Lt R.P Gilmore-Bombardier,

Lt Bill Andrews-pilot,

Lt Joe Chiozza-Bombardier,

Lt C.A. Forrester-Co-Pilot.

One thing he did tell me though, came from us watching a WW II movie (maybe 12 O’clock High) together. The pilots were wearing their headphones over their 50 mission crush hats, while over the target area. Dad said “That’s a buncha bull!(He used stronger words). When we hit the English Channel, we all put on flak helmets, flak vests, and sat as low down as we could”…I thought that sounded closer to the truth.

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From 344th Bomb Group “Silver Streaks” by Austin

p205 as per Francis J. Lorenz “When the 344th was sent to Stagnated, I flew with Donald N. Defke, pilot; William Andrews, Co-Pilot; Joe Chiozza, Navigator; and M. Gerhardstein, Crew Chief. In late September of 1944 we shipped to France.

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After his discharge in 1945, he began a 25 year career as an air traffic controller. He became very active in the 344th BG Association, eventually becoming its president for a term. Bill was married, with three sons. He died in August 2006, at age 85, just five months after the passing of his wife.

Click to see W. S. Andrews mission log

Compare with Frank Carrozza mission log