Lest We Forget

Name: William Durham West Jr. War: World War II

Rank: Staff Sergeant Serial number: 18171808 Branch: Army Air Corps

Unit: 701st Bomb Group – 8th Air Force

Battle: Last six missions of World War II of the 701st Bomb Group

Decorations: Purple Heart, Citation of Honor

Date born: February 17, 1925

Place born: DeRidder, LA

Date died: March 20, 1945

How died: He was gunner and bombardier on a B-24. His last mission was from a small airfield in England to points over Germany. Before the plane arrived at the target, it was shot down over the island of Helgoland.

Place died: W. D. and the entire crew perished in the North Sea.

Place buried: His body was never recovered.

Home place: 417 North Pine Street in DeRidder

School(s): DeRidder High School and McCallie Military School in Chattanooga, TN

Affiliations: First Baptist Church

Interests: Piano, photography, painting and writing

Spouse: None

Children: None

Parents: Mr. and Mrs. W. D. West

Siblings: Glen West and June Brandt

Comments: His family and friends called him “W. D.”

Data provided by: His sister: June Brandt, 1001 Michael Drive, DeRidder, LA

Other sources: Official records and news reports

Date printed: October 24, 2002

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