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Birthdate & Date of Loss

Date of birth: March 2, 1928
Date of death: October 7, 1952
Age: 24

Lucky Bag

1951 Bell LB.jpg

From the 1951 Lucky Bag:

William John Bell

Norfolk, Virginia

If you should hear a weird assortment of bird calls floating over the air you may be sure that the "crow" is in the vicinity . . . a product of Norfolk and Norway . . spends his spare time profitably playing golf and thinking up ways of "beating the system". . . desires to follow in the steps of his brother as a submariner . . . his nickname of "Crow" has placed his admirers in some interesting situations as some officers look a wrong interpretation of those irregular sounds . . . it has also caused some consternation lo the profs . . . as they wondered what was happening to their class when the cries permeated the air . . . his keen sense of humor and sparkling repartee makes him much in demand . . . and marks him as a long-to-be-remembered classmate.

He was also a member of the 1st Regiment staff.


From Find A Grave:

USNA Class of 1951, First Lieutenant Bell was the navigator of a B-26C Invader bomber with the 34th Bomber Squadron, 17th Bomber Wing. On October 7, 1952, while on a day mission, over North Korea, his aircraft was hit by anti-aircraft fire, burst into flames, crashed and exploded. He was listed as Missing in Action and was presumed dead on December 31, 1953. First Lieutenant Bell was awarded the Air Medal, the Purple Heart, the Korean Service Medal, the United Nations Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Korean Presidential Unit Citation and the Republic of Korea War Service Medal.

The commanding officer of the wing to which the squadron was attached, Colonel Nye, was also aboard the aircraft, as were two others. All were lost.

Class Navigation

Class of 1951
William is one of 48 members of the Class of 1951 in Memorial Hall.
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