Pat-- I looked at the 101th BG site, and there was reference to your correspondence there.There is a photo on the website of your f-i-l.There was also one "narrative" mention of him which I include here:
"Our pilot, 1st Lt Edward C. Hansen and our co-pilot, along with T/Sgt Leroy J. Edwards, ran over the checklist and proceeded to start the engines. Radio Operator, Sgt. James R. Mugridge was busy getting the call letters and code words of the day. Ball Turret operator, Sgt. Andrew C. Paulo, was checking out the turret. Waist gunner, Heinz A. Wolf was seeing to his work. Tail gunner, Richard J. Mullaney was also getting ready. Up front, navigator, 1st Lt Kretschmar and Togglier, Sgt. Bill Shirley, were checking charts, guns and toggle switches..... I am sure that was what saved us that Feb 3rd in 1945."
As to your other inquiries--Here is what was scattered through the 100th site about one man--NOTE: You spelled the name with an (e).Their records show the name with no (e). There is a 100th BG Joseph Pearl buried in Neupre, Belgium.Also note that their records apparently misstate the date of death, and there is a middle initial and rank discrepency between the various citations.
BTW: Top Turret was also the Flight ENGINEER. (TTE)
PEARL J.T. T/SGT 418TH TTE KIA 31 DEC 43 HAMBURG (EAC - EXP)
CPL JOSEPH T. PEARL TTE KIA 31/12/44 HAMBURG
Billy B. Blackman Pilot POW Robert E. L. Freshour Co-pilot KIA William M. Sterrett Bombardier POW M. V. Repole Navigator Replaced by W. M. Sterrett who was POW Joe E. Pearl Engineer KIA in enemy A/C attack Tom Pace Waist Gunner POW Robert E. Fortney Radio Op. KIA (found without chute) Basil Numack Waist Gunner KIA Andy Herbert Tail Gunner POW (was flying as Togglier) Bryon Nelson Ball gunner Dropped at crew reduction to nine
Joseph T. Pearl Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army Air Forces 16135683 418th Bomber Squadron, 100th Bomber Group, Heavy Entered the Service from: Michigan Died: December 31, 1944 Buried at: Plot D Row 15 Grave 12 Ardennes American Cemetery Neupre, Belgium Awards: Air Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, Purple Heart