WILLIAMS, SMITH LAVERNE, JR., Second Lieutenant, # 0-557347, USAAF
Smith L. Williams, Jr., was born on 13 August 1919 in Hanford, Sacramento Co., California, to Smith LaVerne Williams. No reliable familial information.
He registered for the WW II draft on 16 October 1940 and described himself as 5’9”, 165 lbs, with brown hair and gray eyes. He enlisted in the USAAF in Sacramento, California, on 8 August 1942.
He was trained as an engineer for the B-29 Stratofortress, which training included the mechanical and electrical systems. In flight, he monitored an array of sensors, dials, and swtcheswhich relected the status of oil, fuel, and electrical systems of the B-29. He earned his commission and wings. He was sent overseas to 20th Air Force, India, then to an advance airfield in China. On 7 December 1944, B-29 Superfortress # 42-6359, “Vixen,” assigned to 20th Air Force at Piardoba, India, 462nd Bomb Group, 770th Bomb Squadron (Very Heavy), departed its forward airfield at Kuinglai, China, on a mission to bomb the aircraft construction and iron works at Mukden, Manchuria (China). Weather conditions were bad and visibility poor, requiring IFR flight rules throughout the mission. At about 0422 hours Zulu, it was last seen near Sianfu, China, low on fuel at last contact. Capt. Harold R. Ebbeler, 0-367116. He reported that his B-29 and 42-6359 was in the same element on the mission.