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WWII 310th Bomb Group, 379th Bomb Squad, B-25 Mitchell Pilotout of Corsica, 70 Combat Missions !

Birth:
01 Jan 2014 1
Montgomery, Alabama 1
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Full Name:
William H Poole 1
Also known as:
BILL 1
Birth:
01 Jan 2014 1
Montgomery, Alabama 1
Male 1
Residence:
Place: Outside Silver City, New Mexico 1
From: Alabama 1
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Birth:
Mother: Anne B Poole 1
Father: John N Poole 1
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Race or Ethnicity:
White, Citizen 1

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Lt William Poole, 310th Bomb Group, 379th Bomb Squad/MTO /WWII

Corsica, France, Italy

310thBG,379thBS, Corsica / Lt Bill Poole and Ed Ely, GUNNER B-25
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"Bill" Poole was born in Montgomery, Alabama to John N and Anne B Poole on the 1st of January, 1925.

From Bill; Quote...  Forebears of these folks came from Laurens County, South Carolina to the Montgomery Area  sometime between the 1790 and 1800 Census.  James William Thomas Poole, a Great, Great Grandfather appears in the 1790 Laurens County South Carolina Report.  Laurens County was just about the entire State at this time, There might have been a second County.  The above Gentleman is probably buried at Mount Carmel Cemetery and Church in the community of  Bethlehem a few miles West of Sellers, Alabama in the Southern area of Montgomery County. There is a very, very old Tombstone which was broken and repaired.  This repair using Cement covers the Dating on the Stone, but the name is clearly present. (some small additions and corrections to come).

Lt Wm H Poole could be quite possible one of the youngest Bomber Pilots of WWII.  He flew B-25 Mitchell Medium Bombers in the 310th Bomb Group, the 379th Bomb Squadron and completed 70 Combat Missions out of Corsica and was only 20 years and 4 months when he completed that !   Bill Has stories of events and places that happened during WWII in the Mediterranean Theatre of Operations that are amazing even now. (2010)  How amazing to look back through the bright eyes of one that was there, and did all of that !  70 Combat missions !  One Officer had ONE Mission (of the last of the war) and he said ONE was enough to last him a lifetime !

 

WWII Lt Bill Poole was a B-25 Pilot wo flew Combat Missions out of Corsica (France) in the Mediterranean Theatre of Operations.  He completed 70 Missions ending up his War-career on 19 April, 1945 and was still in Naples waiting for an appropriate "ride" Home to the ZI.  For one to get home to the ZI (USA /Zone of the Interior) each was given "10 sets of Orders"  It was assumed that with 10 sets, no matter how you did it, you could make it back.  Some only used one or two, many used all 10 ! Bill's STORY;  My age was 20 years four months when I completed my 70 Missions, April 19, 1945.  Graduated from Twin Engine Pilot School  - Class of 43-K, the last class in 1943 when 18 years 11 months.  Turned 19 years in B-25 Pilot Transition School, January 01, 1944.  Some pilots were lucky enough to be assigned to attend Transition School where one learned to fly a Combat Type Aircraft.  Attending Transition also meant that the Transition Pilot accrued additional flight hours and attended Overseas Training  as First Pilot after being assigned a complete Crew  upon arriving at Overseas Training School:  Copilot,  Bombardier-Navigator, Turret Gunner,  Waist ( Radio Operator) Gunner,   and   Tail gunner.  The Copilot comes directly from Graduation of Flight School to Overseas Training School and learns what knowledge that can be assembled during the two or three months of Overseas Training.  I spent much time attempting to get my copilot up to speed where he could at least land the aircraft!   We departed for overseas, flying the South Atlantic Ferry Route July 08, 1944 – I was 19 years and 7 months and really thought I was going to the Moon!  Most of us were  ”  Ill Traveled”  due the the Depression!  Most of us had never been to the adjacent State.  Dad was a Railroad Company Employee and thus had Rail Passes available for Family.  I had been from my Home Town of Montgomery, Alabama to various parts of Florida!  In any event We flew the following legs to reach Tunis, Tunisia.  West Palm Beach, to Borinquin  Field , P.R.;  Georgetown, B.G.,  Belem, Brazil;  Natal, Brazil;  Ascension Island, South Atlantic;  Liberia;  Dakar,Senagal;  Merakech,  Morocco;  Tunis,  Tunisia.   Ten long days at approx 150 MPH and eight hour flights at minimum Throttle to conserve Fuel!.  Some very old Sergeant with Hash marks the full length of his sleeve joking Took our new airplanes and laughtingly  announced that we kids would have to destroy all the airplanes we had on the front before we could have any of the aircraft stowed in the large fenced area at Tunis!  Until this occurrence we thought that the 12 airplanes  in our flight belonged to the respective crew – what a shock!   A C-47  (Douglas DC 3) flew us to Ghisonaccia Gare, Corsica.  (Gare, means Railroad Station in French in the event you know as much French as I)
In any event  Norm Vance,  John Jones, and I were in the lead Element of Three Aircraft;   Bernard Peters,  Alexander McStea, and Tewell were in the second element of three Aircraft.  The two Elements of Three Aircraft comprise a Box of Six Aircraft.  Our Formations were comprised of Boxes of Six Aircraft.   The Boxes of Six Aircraft Dropped their Bombs Simultaneously – thus  four each 1000 pound Bombs times  six Aircraft dropped 24 x 1000# = 24,000#.
I have 8 x 10 inch photo of the first box with McStea breaking away turning left to keep the Engine Fire away from the Cockpit!  I had no knowledge of the existence of this photo until about 1989 when Blair Burkhardt,  The North American Aircraft Tech Representative (a Civilian)  who served with us was showing me photos that the Photo people had given him from time to time!.  I immediately recognized the 379TH Colors on the Tail;  Then I recognized my aircraft since I was flying the last Painted Aircraft in the Squadron – OLIVE DRAB IN COLOR!  I ASKED Blair if he knew what the Target was – He answered, Yes, it is Rovereto.  Apparently a Photo Recon Aircraft flying much higher with a fine lense snapped the picture and to my knowledge no one in the Squadron ever had knowledge of the photo.  Jones and I are the only ones living in the lead Element.
I see Bernard Peters frequently in the second element Tewell  in the second Element Probably isn’t living since I talked to him about 1988 and He didn’t even know his own name or what Squadron he had served  in.
Bill; "My memory is still reasonably good for a youngster of 85 years.    My wife is Dorothy E. ( Pat ) Poole she is also age 85  (January 18, 1925)".  Bill and Pat have lived a long time in New Mexico and travel well, visiting their son in Scottsdale AZ and to see other places.  Bill has been up to Colo Springs to meet with and see Peterson AFB and Lt Col Mike Assid, the CO of the 380th Space Control Squadron and where the Legacy 379th Space Sauqd is nearing her time to be an active Space Unit in 2011. THis is one amazing Veteran, a pleasure to work with and he relates some awesome statistics. . . 70 Missions completed and only 20 years and 4 months of age !
More to come;  Barbara Ennis Connolly  57th Bomb Wing Historical Researcher.

Bill Poole /America's First Jet Flight, October 1942

New Mexico

Lt Wm Poole;

AS A MATTER OF INTEREST:  Bell Aircraft, the builder of the P-59 shown in this file was located in Buffalo, New York. Instructor Pilots teaching us Aircrews destined for Overseas Duty were allowed to take a B-25 Aircraft on Cross Country Flights weekends while we were in Overseas Training at Greenville, South Carolina Spring of 1944, provided Air Crews accompanied the Instructor.  Our Crew accompanied an Instructor and flew to Watertown, N.Y.;  Via Buffalo, N.Y. one weekend in May 1944.  After refueling at Buffalo we flew very low near “water level” from Buffalo to the northeast end of Lake Ontario for practice as suggested by our Instructor.  Upon landing at Pine Camp, New York, a military establishment,  as the crew got out of the aircraft we were surrounded by Guard Dogs and Military Police.  Questioned as to why we had ignored repeated Radio Calls as we flew from Buffalo?  Then,  why hadn’t we adhered to the SPECIAL ORDERS shown in the WEEKLY NOTICE TO AIRMAN?   The Instructor Pilot was totally responsible for this MATTER!  The Instructor Pilot was requested to write a Letter thru Channels which was a very “serious matter”.  The Guards accompanied us to the Main Gate of Pine Camp and  were advised to telephone prior to our departure from Watertown the following day and we must arrive at precisedly the time stated and we would be accompanied to the aircraft and must depart immediately and proceed directly from the vicinity, etc.  Upon flying the South Atlantic Ferry Route to Natal, Brazil,  Ascension Island (South Atlantic),  Liberia, Dakar, Marrakech, Morrocco;  and finally Tunis, Tunisia;  We arrived in Corsica, from which we Operated our B-25’s against the Enemy.  About August 1944,  Stars and Stripes, our Newspaper announced that Bell Aircraft produced our first Jet Fighter!  Our Crew quickly concluded what all the AFORE FUSS was about After the flight shown in this FILE the aircraft was returned to Pine Camp and kept in secrecy until the August Report.  Some test flying could have been accomplished at Pine Camp since the area was remote in 1944.  I flew my first Combat Mission August 04, 1944.  Organization was the 57 TH Bomb Wing,  310 TH Bomb Group,  379 TH Bomb Squadron. Target was Avignon Rail Bridge on August 04, and August 05 in preparation for Invasion of Southern France which occurred August 15, 1944.  Wm. H. Poole.  {The RADIO OVER LAKE ONTARIO:  These aircraft were equipped with Low Frequency Radio which was good for about ten to fifteen Miles and totally useless flying low 50 to 100 miles distance.}  

America's First Jet Flight, October 1942  VERY Cool!!! 

http://www.aircraftowner.com/videos/view/americas-first-jet-flight-october-1942_1617.html

Lt Bill Poole, B-25 Pilot, 310th bomb Group.

Fano, Italy

6 Nov. 2011 Note to Barbara Ennis Connolly, 57th BW Historical Researchers and History Team Member with John T Fitzgerald and Patti Johnson;

Dear  Barbara,  I flew my last mission April 19, 1945 and with Orders in Hand was in Naples awaiting MATS air transportation home.  I had my 20th Birthday, January O1, 1945 Ghisonaccia Gare, Corsica!

 We flew in a DC-3 (C-47) Naples to Casablanca.  The MATS Pilots took the aircraft  up and down at Algerias where we refueled and had lunch and again at Casablanca but allowed me to pilot the craft all the way to Casablanca.

About a week later we departed Casablanca in a DC-4 (C54) flew 6 hours to Azores,  13 hours to Stephenville, New Foundland, and 6 more hours to New York!  I did no pilotoing on this flight.  But note the hugh difference between flying at

About 150 miles per hour and 450 to 500 miles per hour!  Best regards,  Bill and Pat Poole.

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