PFC William Ernest Bell died non battle. He is buried at Honolulu Memorial, N 42.

Sam Bell (1879-?)
Bessie L. Bell-Wilson (1893-1936)

William Ernest Bell died while serving in WWII during “Operation Bobcat” on 23 May 1942 in Bora Bora, French Polynesia.

“Joint Basic Army and Navy Plan for the Occupation and Defense of Bora Bora” was issued which provided that the expedition, labeled “Bobcat Task Force,” depart from the United States on January 25, 1942.

The Bobcat Taskforce (TF 5614) included approximately 4,300 officers and men, under the command of Brigadier General Charles Ostrom. It had a Navy element of 23 officers and 451 sailors led by Commander Carl H. Sanders that included a seaplane scouting squadron, (Vought OS2U Kingfisher) fuel depot operators, support and harbor control personnel, and Detachment 1, First Construction
Battalion (Seabees).

The Army element was much larger, including 192 officers and 3645 enlisted men. Army units included most of the 102nd Infantry, two batteries of the 99th Field Artillery Battalion (Pack Howitzer) Headquarters, 3rd battalion and batteries “F”, and “H” 13th Coast Artillery (Harbor Defense), the 695th Signal Aircraft Warning and Reporting Company, the 8th Station Hospital and miscellaneous support elements. The largest Army contingent with approximately 1450 troops was the 198th Coast Artillery (Antiaircraft), Delaware National Guard, commanded by Col. George Schulz, who also served as Executive Officer to General Ostrom. Schulz was the senior Colonel with the Task Force.

The 198th Coast Artillery (Antiaircraft) in World War II, Operation Bobcat Island by Brig. Gen. Kennard R. Wiggins (DE ANG Ret.)

Bora Bora

William Ernest Bell

  • Rank: Private First Class
  • Date of birth:
  • 29 August 1919
  • Date of death: 23 May 1942
  • County: Campbell
  • Service Branch: Army/Army Air Forces
  • Division/Assignment: 13th Coast Artillery Regiment
  • Theater: Pacific
  • Conflict: World War II
  • Burial/Memorial Location: Honolulu Memorial, Honolulu, Hawaii
  • Location In Memorial: Pillar VII, Top Panel
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