William R. Meier

BOMBARDIER SCHOOL
Aviation Cadet William R. Meier, 21, has reported for duty at Kirtland Field, New Mexico, an advanced bombardiering training school of the Western Flying Training Command. He is the son of Mrs. Vernie Meier, 535 Grand Avenue West.

Commissioned
LT. WILLIAM MEIER
William R. Meier, son of Mrs. Vernie Meier, 535 Grand Avenue West, was commissioned a Second Lieutenant with the rating of Aerial Bombardier upon graduation from the Advanced Bombardier School at Kirtland Field, NM on July 1. Previously, he won aerial gunner's insignia at Kingman, AZ. 

Lieutenant Meier entered the service on March 11,1943. He received his basic training at Miami Beach, FL and was sent to the University of Vermont for college training. He transferred to Nashville, TN for classification. He took pre-flight training at Santa Ana, CA and attended gunnery school at Las Vegas, NV, prior to being stationed at the Bombardier School at Kirtland Field.  

A graduate of the Eau Claire Senior High School, he attended Eau Claire State Teachers College and the University of Wisconsin where  he was affiliated with Psi Upsilon. He was active in YMCA work before he entered the service. 

He will report to Lincoln, NE on July 21.


AN EIGHTH AIR FORCE BOMBER STATION, England—Second Lieutenant William R. Meier, 22, of Eau Claire, Wisconsin, is now in England with the 98th Bomb Group, undergoing a  pre-combat training period of 10 days in preparation for combat action as bombardier of a B-17 Flying Fortress on Eighth Air Force bombing attacks against Germany's military and industrial targets 

Lieutenant Meier is now getting the benefit of the combat experience of veteran fliers. His course of instruction includes intelligence class lectures on prisoner of war procedure, air-sea rescue methods, aircraft recognition, flak barrage, and new German fighter tactics.

The Fortress group with which he will fly was cited by the President for its bombing of Focke Wulf aircraft factories at Posen, Poland. The group is a unit of the Third Bombardment Division, also cited by the President for its England-to-Africa shuttle-bombing of Messerschmitt plane plants at Regensburg, Germany.

A student at the University of  Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin, before entering the Army in August 1942, Lieutenant Meier received his bombardier's wings at Kirtland Field, Albuquerque, New Mexico in July 1944. He is the son of Mrs. Vernie Meier of 535 Grand Avenue West, Eau Claire.


Lt. W. R. Meier Gets Air Medal

AN EIGHTH AIR FORCE BOMBER STATION, England—Second Lieutenant William R. Meier, 23, of Eau Claire, bombardier on a B-17 Flying Fortress of the 96th Bomb Group, has been awarded the Air Medal for "meritorious achievement" while participating in Eighth Air Force bombing attacks on Nazi war industries and supporting ground forces battling in Germany. The presentation was made by Colonel Robert W. Warren, Vernon, TX, Group Commander.

Lieutenant Meier was a student at the University of Wisconsin before entering the Army in August 1942. He is the son of Mrs. Vernie Meier of 535 Grand Avenue.


AWARDED CLUSTER
Second Lieutenant William R. Meier, 22, son of Mrs. Vernie Meier, 525 Grand Avenue, bombardier on a Flying Fortress of the 96th Bomb Group of the Eighth Air Force, has been awarded an Oak Leaf Cluster to his Air Medal for meritorious achievement while participating in bombing attacks on German war targets.

SECOND CLUSTER
Second Lieutenant Wm. R. Meier, 22, son of Mrs. Vernie Meier, 535 Grand Avenue West, has been awarded a second Oak Leaf Cluster to his Air Medal for meritorious achievement with the Eighth Air Force in attacks on German targets. He entered service in August 1942 and received his bombardier's wings at Kirtland Field, NM.

"Sub Pen" Attack Proves Exciting to City Officer
AN EIGHTH AIR FORCE, BOMBER STATION, England—Second Lieutenant William R. Meier, Eau Claire, bombardier now serving in England, was "borrowed" for a mission to attack sub pens at Hamburg, Germany and found he was in for quite a ride.

It was just after "bombs away," that two flak bursts staggered the Eighth Air Force B-17 Flying Fortress piloted by Second Lieutenant Edward S. Oniszko of Worcester, Massachusetts. Lieutenant Meier, who was not flying with his regular crew but was borrowed for this special mission, learned that the Fort was out of control, with elevator and rudder cables shot away, two engines knocked out, and the oxygen supply to the rear portion of the ship cut. 

The pilot threw the ship on automatic pilot control and kept it staggering through the sky over Germany, crippled and lost from the formation. Back in the waist, the engineer and gunners were already at work, splicing the severed cables with emergency splicing wire, although their supply of life-sustaining oxygen had been lost.

Immediately, Lieutenant Meier and the other men up front began relaying emergency oxygen bottles back to the men working at the control cables and, after two hectic hours, with the English coast below them, he learned that the battered bomber was ready to be landed on manual controls and joined the rest of the crew in the radio room, huddled together in crash-landing position. This precaution proved unnecessary, as the pilot made a perfect landing.

Safe at the home airdrome in England, Lieutenant Meier, the only "stranger" on the crew, remarked, "That's the calmest and most efficient air crew I've ever flown with. I'd go anywhere with them. It was just luck that no Nazi fighters picked us up, for we were alone, and had no one to man the guns."

The Wisconsin bombardier is the son of Mrs. Vernie Meier, 535 Grand Avenue West, Eau Claire. Before entering the Army in August 1942 at Madison, he was a student at Eau Claire Teachers College and the University of Wisconsin. He received his bombardier's wings at Albuquerque, New Mexico in July 1944.

Lieutenant Meier flies with the 96th Bomb Group, veteran Eighth Air Force combat unit, cited by the President for the long-range bombing of Focke Wulf fighter plane factories at [**data missing**]