Major William T. Bales was the pilot of P-47D-28 with serial number 42-29256. He departed from Frankfurt on a close support mission to the Gotha area in Germany

Statement from Lieutenant Colonel Sanders E. Delaney:
Captain Bales was flying on my wing in yellow 2 position. I had signaled him to attack one of two enemy aircraft while I attacked the other. The last time I saw him he was to the rear and slightly low to me. As I pulled up in back of one enemy plane I left him in position in the rear of the other enemy plane. After the conclusion of my encounter, I heard him call on the RT and say “I´ve got to belly in”. The next thing he said was “Hello Delaney, I’m on the ground. I bumped my head, but I´m alright.” I tried to locate his plane on the ground, but was unable to do so. However, I am positive it was in the immediate vicinity of Hainichen.

Major Bales was taken prisoner of war on 13 April 1945 in Germany and died one day later.


  • Rank: Major
  • Date of death: 14 April 1945
  • County: Hamilton
  • Hometown: Chattanooga
  • Service Branch: Army/Army Air Forces
  • Division/Assignment: 371st Fighter Group, Headquarters
  • Theater: Europe
  • Conflict: World War II
  • Awards: Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster
  • Burial/Memorial Location: Ardennes American Cemetery, Neupré (Neuville-en-Condroz), Belgium
  • Location In Memorial: Pillar XII, Top Panel
  • Sponsored by: Paul R. McNiel

Image Gallery

Click a thumbnail below to view at full size.

Submit more information on this veteran →