Donald Gray Wallis
2nd Lt 0-679411 615th
District of Columbia
1922 - 1944
Bombardier onboard 42-37809 (Carolina Queen)
Donald was born Jan 15, 1922, Washington, District of Columbia.
In 1942 he enlisted to the aircorps.
In 1943 he arrived in England to join the 401st BG
His last mission, Jan 11, 1944, Target: Oschersleben, the plane was attacked by 2 enemy fighters.
Unfortunately, Donald was killed instantly by machine gun and cannon fire during an nose attack by
He was awarded with an Air Medal and a Purple Heart Medal
In 1944, when Donald died on the age of 21 he left behind his family :
His father, Leonard G Wallis, age 62
His mother, Edith G Wallis, age 54
His brother ,Leonard S Wallis, age 17
Mission to Oschersleben, germany, plane was attacked by 2 enemy fighters and exploded
Told by 2nd Lt. John Lane Peck , Co-Pilot.
- Name of crew member : Wallis , Donald Gray
- Rank : 2nd Lt.
- Serial number : 0-679411
- Position : Left Waist Gunner.
- Did he bail out ? : I have reason to believe that he was killed at his post by a frontal fighters attack.
- If not, why not ? : He appeared dead to me when I left the ship.
- Last contact just prior to loss of plane ? : Approximately 15 minutes prior to leaving ship ( interphone ).
- Was he injured ? : Definitely , apparently instantly killed.
- Where was he last seen ? : When I bailed out throught nose.
- Any heresay information ? : German intelligence at Dulag Luft read off a list of the crewlisting him as dead.
Navigator told me in Germany that Lt. Wallis appeared dead to him before he
left the ship , which was before I did.
- Source ? : Lt. Hurlburt.
- Any explanation of his fate ? : I believe he went down with the ship , being dead before the ship was
completely out of control.
- Total number of missions of above crew member ? : I do not know.
- Date and destinations if possible ? : I was not a member of the crew except for its final mission.
Final interrogations about Bombardier
Donald Gray Wallis
Sgt Denzel David Johnson.
Our mission on 11 January was an aircraft factory near Brunswick, Germany.
While we were still over the target , very shortly after bombs away , we were hit by fighters.
During this first attack 2nd Lt. Donald G. Wallis was hit by a 20 mm shell.
The Engineer, S/Sgt. Badura , went forward to see how bad the wound was.
When Badura returned he said Lt. Wallis was hit in the chest by a 20 mm shell and was dead.
The controls of the lane had been shot out and the plane went into a dive , so we were ordered to abandon ship.
The Navigator , Engineer , Co-pilot, Pilot and lastly myself bailed out.
A few seconds before I left the ship the right wing broke off.
I bailed out at around 500 to 1000 feet and the centrifugal force was so great I was barely able to leave ship.
About the time I hit the ground I noticed the ship had made a sort of crash landing some 60 yards from me.
I was taken prisoner immediately and one of the Germans took me over within ten or so yards of the plane, the fuselage of which was completely intact except for the wings having come off.
As I approached the plane I saw the body of Lt. Wallis lying on the ground near the fuselage , apparently having been thrown clear by the crash.
Through the waist of the ship I could see the bodies of the left waist gunner , Pvt Marshall , and the ball turret gunner , S/Sgt. Norman J. Fix.
There was no sign of any activity in the ship and the Germans , with the exception of the one who was holding me prisoner , were keeping their distance from the ship and no attempt was being made to determine whether anyone was alive and injured in the crash , or whether they were all dead.
I asked permission to go to the ship and see if the men were dead or injured, but my request was refused by the Germans.
Due to the fact that the plane was not destroyed , but crash landed by itself , it has always been my opinion that one of the men in the plane when it crashed might have survived.
This is the last I have ever seen or heard of the men who went down with the ship , namely Lt. Wallis , S/Sgt. Francis L. Reed , S/Sgt. Hugh Chaffin and S/Sgt. Norman J. Fix.
Interrogation of S/Sgt. Charles S. Badura might furnish further details as to the death of Lt. Wallis.
However , it is my opinion that there can be no doubt that Lt. Wallis id dead.
S/Sgt Charles S. Badura.
We had just come off our target about 12:00 noon on January 11th when we were attacked head on by two Messerschmidt's who shot all the glass out of the nose of our ship, knocking out one engine and all controls.
The inter-phones were dead and I crawled forward to contact the Pilot to see how badly we had been hit.
The pilot gave the order to bail out.
On my way to the escape hatch I met the navigator who had been hit in the leg but was able to bail out on his own power.
I checked to see what had happened up in the nose and I saw Lt. Wallis unconscious from having been hit a number of times in the chest and I had every reason to believe him dead , otherwise I would have adjusted his chute and thrown him out.
That was the last time I saw Lt. Wallis. I then bailed out. The ship went into a steep dive and crashed.
Immediately upon hitting the ground I tried to return to the ship to see if anyone was living , but my German captors would not allow me to go near the ship.
Sgt. Denzel P. Johnson , one of the waist gunners , landed near the ship and before the Germans could get to him made an inspection of the ship and saw Lt. Wallis's body completely cut in two.
Sgt. Johnson passed this information on to me at a German prison camp where we were both confined.
2nd Lt. John Lane Peck.
I was substitute co-pilot on ship and we were leading second element , high squadron , high group of wing -- the group was composite -- 401st and 351 Bomb Groups.
We were hit by fighters head on while on target run at 11:45.
When I left the aircraft thru the nose hatch Lt. Wallis was slumped forwards over the stabilizer and due to a lack of oxygen , my own wounds , and the fact that the Navigator Lt. Hurlburt had already gone I didn't investigate.
His position was such that I am sure he was either dead or unconscious.
We were hit simultaneously by several 20 mm and they usually are fatal.
I was assured later by Lt. Hurlburt , the navigator that he was dead and that he was not hit in the head.
1stLt. Chapman , the Pilot , who was at Stalag Luft 1 should know more.
Advise you contact either he or the navigator, 2nd Lt. Hurlburt , who was repatriated in 1944.
The German interrogation officers told Lt. Hurlburt and myself that Lt. Wallis was one of the 5 crew members who were dead.
1st Lt. Harold Joseph Chapman.
Lt. D.G.Wallis was killed instantly by machine gun and cannon fire during an nose attack by enemy fighters.
As witnessed by the navigator 2nd Lt. Hurlburt , who was very badly wounded , but parachuted to safety.
As result of this attack and previous damages to the airplane, control of the airplane was lost and the order to abandon ship was given.
The airplane crashed about 10 miles S. E. of Oschersleben, Germany.
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