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
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