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Remembering World War II
William Sewell Balfe
William Sewell Balfe Second Lieutenant O-797445 9th Bombardment Squadron, 7th Bombardment Group, 10th Air Force, USAAF Purple Heart March 3, 1917 Halifax, NS March 18, 1942 Boston, Massachusetts Worcester, Massachusetts 25 5 feet, 8 inches Light Blue Brown November 25, 1943 26 National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, Honolulu, Hawaii Section B, Site 492 William 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: 36261408 Technical Sergeant Arthur N Bearmann Wisconsin 32494605 Sergeant Raymond Bergen New York O-799901 Second Lieutenant George H Carney (Co-Pilot) New Jersey O-671341 Second Lieutenant Clyde N Gibson Alabama 37428463 Staff Sergeant John Henry Hatting Iowa 14150210 Staff Sergeant Millard M Hixson Alabama 13084239 Technical Sergeant Cyril M Hudak Pennsylvania 14149582 Staff Sergeant Andrew Jackson Kellis North Carolina O-801402 Second Lieutenant Elmer R Spangler (Navigator) Wisconsin William 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.
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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: