William Sewell BalfeSecond LieutenantO-7974459th Bombardment Squadron, 7th Bombardment Group, 10th Air Force, USAAFPurple HeartMarch 3, 1917Halifax, NSMarch 18, 1942Boston, MassachusettsWorcester, Massachusetts255 feet, 8 inchesLight BlueBrownNovember 25, 194326National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, Honolulu, HawaiiSection B, Site 492William Sewell Balfe was the son of Joseph Henry Balfe (1881-1945) and Sabina Frances (Lucas) Balfe (1892-1968). William’s father was born in Halifax, NS. His mother was born in Dover-Foxcroft, Piscataquis, Maine. William had six siblings. His brother Joseph Francis Balfe (1912-1986) served in the US Navy.At the Worcester High School of Commerce, William was a member the Boys Glee Club, the Blackfriars Dramatic Society, and was voted “Cleverest” in his class.William completed his US Draft registration on October 16, 1940. He and his parents were living at 1 Glenwood St., in Worcester, Mass at that time. He was working for the Morgan Construction Co. in Lincoln Square in Worcester. 17 months later, William enlisted in the Air Corps. Second Lieutenant Balfe was the Pilot of Consolidated B-24 Liberator #42-73216, assigned to the 9th Bombardment Squadron, 7th Bombardment Group, 10th Air Force. Re-equipped with Consolidated B-24D Liberators the 9th was reassigned back to 10th Air Force in India. The Squadron had been reassigned to the 10th Air Force, and operated from the Pandaveswar airbase in India beginning December 12, 1942.For the balance of the war, it carried out long distance heavy bomb raids over Japanese targets primarily in Burma, Thailand, and French Indochina; The squadron also attacked Japanese targets in southeastern China attacking airfields, fuel and supply dumps, locomotive works, railways, bridges, docks, warehouses, shipping, and troop concentrations in Burma and struck oil refineries in Thailand, power plants in China, and enemy shipping in the Andaman Sea.Second Lieutenant William Sewall Balfe’s aircraft crashed on take-off from Pandaveswar on a bombing mission November 25, 1943, and all aboard were killed. A second B-24, 42-73064 (skipper: John S. Crall) crashed on takeoff the same day.The other nine crew of B-24 Liberator #42-73216 were:Service No.Rank and name:From:36261408Technical Sergeant Arthur N BearmannWisconsin32494605Sergeant Raymond BergenNew YorkO-799901Second Lieutenant George H Carney (Co-Pilot)New Jersey O-671341Second Lieutenant Clyde N GibsonAlabama37428463Staff Sergeant John Henry HattingIowa14150210Staff Sergeant Millard M HixsonAlabama13084239Technical Sergeant Cyril M HudakPennsylvania 14149582Staff Sergeant Andrew Jackson KellisNorth CarolinaO-801402Second Lieutenant Elmer R Spangler (Navigator)WisconsinWilliam was originally interred in the Barrackpore Cemetery in West Bengal, India and then re-interred in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, Honolulu, Hawaii, on January 10, 1949.
Sources:Nationwide Gravesite Locator, National Cemetery Administration, US Department of Veterans Affairs
Name:Rank:Service No: Service: Awards: Date of Birth:Place of Birth:Date of Enlistment:Place of Enlistment:Address at Enlistment:Age at Enlistment:Height:Complexion:Eye Colour: Hair Colour:Date of Death: Age at Death:Cemetery: Grave Reference: