STONE, WILLIAM TAYLOR, Sergeant, # 17127326, USAAF
William T. Stone was born on 19 September 1923 in Blue Springs, Jackson Co., Missouri, to Samuel F. Stone (1878-1962) and Sarah Frances “Sadie” (Stumpp) Stone (1894-1956). Siblings included Mary Ann (Stone) Duer (1912-2004), Opal Fern (Stone) Cleland (1915-2003), Marjorie E. Stone (1920-1989), Richard J. Stone (1926-1983), and Robert Eugene “Bob” Stone (1931-2008). He graduated from Northeast High School, Kansas City, MO.
He registered for the WW II draft on 30 June 1942, resided at 140 N. Oakley, Kansas City, MO, a student, described himself as 6’, 160 lbs, with brown hair and eyes. After enlisting in the USAAF, he was trained in the maintenance and operation of the radar equipment on the B-29 Superfortress. He earned his crewman wings. He was sent overseas to India. On 27 November 1944, a B-29, # 42-24452, “Devil May Care,” assigned to 20th Air Force, 40th Bomb Group, 57th Bomb Squadron, and fourteen othe B-29s departed the airfield at Chakulia, India, on a bombing mission over Bangkok, Thailand (aka Siam). Last radio contact was at about 0649Z 130 miles south of Chittagong, India. The B-29s were deployed from Chakulia Army Air Force Base to attack the Bangsue Marshalling Yards of Bangkok, Thailand. Weak enemy fighter opposition was encountered. One enemy Zeke attacked the formation from straight ahead, damaging four B-29s. Thirteen planes returned safely to Chakulia and one, aircraft #452, proceeded to Chittagong (Bangladesh) after losing #4 engine. Leaving the primary target, the pilot of aircraft #452, Lt Carl E. Blackwell, radioed the formation commander that he had wounded personnel aboard due to the fighter attack and that he could not close his bomb bay doors. Enroute back to Chakulia, he asked permission to proceed to Chittagong. The formation commander asked if there were any major mechanical difficulties or shortage of gasoline and was assured there were none, that #452 had plenty of gas and that no escort was needed. Permission was given and #452 left the formation. It was lost and never located. He is remembered on the memorial wall of the missing in the Manila American Cemetery & Memorial, Philippines. A memorial marker was placed in the Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia (Sec. Mf, Site 50-4). He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal and the Purple Heart.