|William E Crowley
|372nd Bomb Squadron
|307th Bomb Group
|Entered Service from :
|Date of Birth :
|18 August 1921
|Date of Death :
|15 July 1944
|Place of Death :
|South of Yap Island
|In Manila (Philippines) :
|Walls of the missing
William Crowley's Story ...
Sergeant William Crowley was born in Chicago on August 18, 1921, and graduated from St Mel's High School there. He enlisted in the Army in February 1941. While stationed in Biloxi, Mississippi, he married Miriam "Mimi" Poller in August 1942 while he was in radio school at Keesler Field.
|William married Miriam "Mimi" Poller in August 1942
Ten months later, Sharon Leigh Crowley was born. William saw his daughter only once, just months before his wish to be assigned 'overseas' had been realized. Mimi remarried a short time after his death
|William's daughter ... Sharon Leigh Crowley
William was assigned to the 372nd Bombardment Squadron, 307th Bombardment Group, 13th Air Force, serving in the Pacific Theater. In July his squadron was stationed on Mokerang Field, Los Negros ... This Airbase enabled the U.S. Army Air Force to attack Yap Island. It was a 13 hour round trip to a heavily defended target without friendly fighter cover
|ScottyDog, the mascot of the 372nd Bomb Squadron
On 15 July 1944, the planes had taken off from Mokerang Field, Los Negros Island, for yet another mission to bomb Yap Island. On their way back William's B-24J Liberator "the Diedrich Flight"(Serial number 42-73119) collided with another Liberator, approximately 25 miles south of Yap Island in the Carolines. the other Liberator "the Sylor Flight" (Serial number 44-40555.)
|Map of the Pacific showing Yap Island
Due to enemy control of the area, no
immediate search for survivors was possible. Subsequent searches failed to locate any survivors or bodies.
Therefore, the Adjutant General issued a presumptive finding of death on March 30, 1946, for the crews of
both planes -- 22 men. There were no survivors in William's plane and neither his body, nor any other
member of his crew, was ever recovered. The Diedrich crew was as follows:
|The crew of the Diedrich Flight
In recognition of his sacrifice, William E Crowley was awarded the Air Medal and the Purple Heart. He is memorialized on the Walls of the Missing at Manila American Cemetery.
|The Walls of the missing at Manila cemetery
William's daughter (now) Sharon Crowley Conner arranged a granite plaque to be placed in Ft. Rosecrans National Cemetery in San Diego, to honor and remeber her dad. Sharon recalls ... "How is it possible to miss someone I've never met? I don't know. But at one o'clock on November 15, 2002, when I first touched 'SGT William E Crowley' on the flat granite plaque I arranged to be placed in Ft. Rosecrans National Cemetery in San Diego, I missed my dad."
|The granite marker in Ft Rosecrans National Cemetery
In 2001, at the urging of her stepfather,
William's daughter joined the American World War II Orphans Network (AWON) and began looking for information
about her father. She knew from family members that he loved jazz and had green eyes. Sharon Crowley
Connor has green eyes and loves jazz. Contacting the AWON proved to be a vital step in bringing her dad
"back" into her life ... "back" again after 57 years ...
|Special thanks to William's daughter Sharon Crowley Conner