Re: WWII Ace and Silver Star recipient
Robert, if possible can you send these images to my email? I'm at a remote work location and they will not open the standard way for me. There is a company computer but the links are blocked. It appears the links are regarding the "Bellringer" and his Form 66-1, Qualification record. These were the questions I was going to ask you about but I can't open the links.
I have found another reference to this aerial engagement on 17 June 1943 when in actuality it was on 16 June 1943 because of the date line. This other reference is a popular WWII web site and it identifies William D. Wells as having shot down 4 enemy aircraft and belonging to the "8th Ftr Grp". I have sent them an e-mail to query about their source for that information.
I did a search of the WWII Aerial Victory database (link porovided by Darryl) based on the 16 June 1943 date. On that date in the South Pacific we have 27 pilots from 4 different squadrons totaling 40 aircraft downed. The squadron's identified are the 44th Ftr Sq of the 18th Ftr Grp, the 68th Ftr Sq of the 347th Ftr Grp, the 70th Ftr Sq of the 18th Ftr Grp and the 339th Ftr Sq of the 347th Ftr Grp. This leaves out the 67th Ftr Sq that I mentioned in another post. From this engagement, the 339th, fying the P-38 at the time, had one Ace with 5 aircraft downed earning him the Distinguished Service Cross, 1st Lt Murray J. Shubin, award and citation here;
At the time of this engagement, the 44th Ftr Sq was flying the P-38 and P-40 aircraft. The 68th and the 70th Ftr Sqs were flying the P-39 and other aircraft. If the other reference that identified his unit as the "8th Ftr Grp" misread the "18th Ftr Grp", then that would lead to the 70th Ftr Sq as a possibility. Hopefully the other reference will have some good source material that will help. If it's based on other information from the web where I have seen your posts, then it won't help much.
So if you can send those images/documents to my e-mail, then I can do some more research...every little bit helps. Can you include his Form 53-98 if you can? The Form 66-1 is a good document to have but obviously the actual GO for the award would be the one we want to find. There is a process for the "Correction of Military Records" and that would be the next step after collecting the documentation. If the board accepts the documentation provided, his military records will be corrected to reflect the award and credit provided for his actions during this engagement. I look forward to your e-mail and assisting in this endeavor.
Best regards, William