1944 — Italy
Derrill C McMorris
Birth: Jan. 8, 1921, USA; Death: Oct. 9, 1985, USA
Inscription: 1st Lt US Army Air Corps, World War II
Burial: Oak Hill Cemetery; Watseka, Iroquois County, Illinois, USA
Name:Derrill Mcmorris; State of Issue:Illinois; Date of Birth:Saturday January 08, 1921; Date of Death:October 1985
Est. Age at Death: 64 years, 9 months; Last known residence:; City: Watseka
County: Iroquois State: Illinois ZIP Code: 60970
Derrill was living in Coles County, Illinois and he joined the AAC at CHANUTE FILED ILLINOIS on 13 March, 1942. Born in Ill. in 1921 and completed Hi-school, he was white, citizen and still single at enlistment.
Lt Derrill McMorris flew Combat Missions with the 310th Bomb Group, 428th Bomb Squadrons the Pilot of B-25 Mitchell Medium Bomber out of Corsica during WWII. He was shot-Down on 10 Dec. 1944 and captured/ POW until liberated on 12 June, 1945.
***** # 44-29937***** " Donna Marie, II" ***************** 310thBG,428thBS, Lt Derrill C McMorris, Pilot
10 Dec.'44; One of the two B-25J aircraft shot down was the "anti-flak" formation leader. The aircraft, serial number 44-28937, whose name was "Donna Marie II", was hit by flak just prior to bomb drop. Despite being hit by enemy fire, they managed to complete their bombing run. Minutes later the aircraft lost power to an engine and crashed on the Lessini Mountains. The pilot of the "Donna Marie II" was Lt. Lee Anthony McAllister Jr. His crew was formed by 2nd.Lt. Derrill C.McMorris, (copilot), Capt. Jerry M.Baraniuk (bombardier), Sergeant Leonard J.Raple (tail gunner), Master Sergeant Robert E.Baccus (gunner-radio operator), and Master Sergeant Ernest C.Thompson (dorsal turret gunner).
McMorris later stated that his plane left the formation just over the I.P. in order to drop their bombs singly. After being hit and with the intercom unserviceable, there was no way to communicate with his crew. Some hits went directly into the bomb bay, igniting the phosphorus bombs, resulting in a dense smoke and preventing the crew from seeing each other. Fortunately, they managed to open the rear escape hatch and the gunners bailed out. McAllister signaled to McMorris to abandon ship, then he and Baraniuk went out through the forward hatch. McAllister, was the last person to leave the plane. (POW)