William Metz was born in about 1923 in Estonia to Irene and Alexander Metz. After coming to this country, the family lived in Teaneck, NJ. William finished two years of high school. He enlisted in the Army Air Corps in January 1942.
William served in the 576th Bomb Squadron, 392nd Bomb Group. He achieved the rank of Technical Sergeant.
On May 29, 1944 Sergeant Metz was serving as a radio operator on a B-24 Bomber which was on a mission to bomb the oil refineries at Politz, Germany. Sergeant Metz was killed when the bomber was shot down by a German fighter plane.
This brave Air Corp serviceman was awarded the Air Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster. After initially being buried in a German village nearby where his plane crashed, Sergeant Metz, as well as his fellow crew members were reburied in the Ardennes American Cemetery near Liege, Belgium.
- 1940 United States Federal Census
- U. S. World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946
- World War II and Korean Conflict Veterans Interred Overseas
- U. S., Headstone and Interment Records for U. S. Military Cemeteries on Foreign Soil, 1942-1949 for William Metz
American Battle Monuments Commission
National World War II Memorial, Wash., D.C. Website
Fields of Honor Database Website
Find A Grave Website
- TSgt William Metz (includes details from "Missing Air Crew Report") -
Radio Op. T/Sgt. William Metz KIA
Hometown: Teaneck, New Jersey.
Squadron: 576th BS 392th Bomb Group
Service # 12049746
Awards: Purple Heart
Pilot 1st/Lt. Ace W. Tyler KIA
Target: Politz Germany
MISSING AIRCREW REPORT: #05212
Date Lost: 29-May-44
Serial Number: #42-95136
Aircraft Model B-24
Aircraft Letter: "A"
Aircraft Name: (NO NICKNAME) 7th Mission
Location: near a village named Gueltz
Cause: German fighters Crew of 10 9KIA 1POW
This mission would be the first to this tough and heavily defended target - the oil refineries at Politz. The 392nd would suffer high casualties on this raid. The 578th and 577th were assigned lead with Bombardiers, Lieutenant Joachim and Captain Colburn, respectively. At 0430 and 0500 hours, (27) crews were briefed and at 0749 take-offs began. A total of (26) ships bombed the target area, releasing (260) 500# GP weapons, but good bombing was hampered by an effective smoke screen over the target and the ensuing fighter encounters. An estimated 75-100 enemy fighters attacked the Group comprised of about (75) single-engine ME-109s and FW-190s and (25) JU-88s and at least (1) twin-engine ME-410. The severe fighter attacks were encountered for about thirty-five minutes near the target between 1150 and 1225 hours. The Group lost (6) aircraft on this mission with many casualties
MISSION LOSS CIRCUMSTANCES: A returning eye-witness reported, "ship turned over with two engines out, altitude 21,700", and no further details were related on this aircraft loss. A German Report KU #2086, Air Base Hqs at Greifewald reported that this plane had crashed near a village named Gueltz, and the railroad Demmin-Altentreptow, about 1145 hours, 29 May. The crew had been shot down by a fighter, and was 99% destroyed from an air explosion and fire engulfing unexploded bombs at the crash site. Nine (9) crew members were found dead and identified at the site above. One, the Navigator Lt. Bassett, who had bailed out successfully, was taken prisoner immediately in the area. It was reported that the prisoner was transferred the next day, 30 May, from the Commanding Officer at Tutow (Berlin area) to Oberursel (Dulag Luft). Local burial of the casualties was carried out.
INDIVIDUAL ACCOUNTS OF CREWMEN FATES/BURIAL RECORDS: Lt. Bassett, the only survivor, gave a brief account on a casualty interrogation (U.S.) form dated 27 July 1945. He stated that the plane had been attacked by enemy fighters and the nose section had been set afire; that he bailed out but saw no more parachutes coming down, although he was in a position to see them had others gotten out. That was the extent Df his report (in this MACR file record).
German report of 1 June 44, message AF 965/64, Air Base Hqs Griefewald, 2/Ill gave account of the burials of the crew casualties: all were buried at the village of Gueltz, (800) meters from the Gueltz Estate, as recorded: Metz (Grave 1); MacDonald (Grave 3); Powell (Grave 4); Tyler (Grave 5); Troutman (Grave 6); Podolski (Grave 7); Blaida (Grave 8); Brown (Grave 9); and Ricci (Grave number not given). The Germans identified one of the deceased as Sgt Corbett X. Miller after they found his Soldier's Individual Pay Record. Although Miller was originally a member of 1/Lt Tyler's crew, he had been seriously wounded on the Hamm mission (April 22, 1944) and hospitalized. He was eventually returned home. Why his Pay Record was at the crash site is a mystery. U.S. National Cemetery records account for the following re-interments for certain members of this crew. These members were re-buried at the ARDENNES Cemetery, near Liege, Belgium: Podolski (Grave B-27-7); Metz (Grave D- 7-50); Blaida (Grave D-7-49) and Powell (Grave D-7-47). Podolski was awarded the Air Medal with (2) Oak Leaf Clusters and Purple Heart; Metz and Blaida both an Air Medal with (1) Oak Leaf Cluster with Blaida's being also a posthumous Purple Heart, but the latter award not in the case of Metz; and Powell is noted to have an award of the Purple Heart, posthumously as well. No other record connected with the MACR exists as to the subsequent reburials of the other crew men.
The #42-95136 crew
1st/Lt. Ace W. Tyler Pilot KIA
2nd/Lt. Joseph A. Ricci Co Pilot KIA
1st/Lt. Earl F. Bassett Navigator POW
T/Sgt. George E. MacDonald Jr. Engineer
T/Sgt. William Metz Radio Op. KIA
S/Sgt. Paul D. Podolski Gunner KIA
S/Sgt. John M. Blaida A Radio Op. KIA
S/Sgt. Gilbert A. Brown Gunner KIA
S/Sgt. Edward A. Troutman Gunner KIA
Sgt. Marvin L. Powell Gunner KIA