William Lewis was born on the 4th of July, 1923 and was from Oakland, California. He serves as the Radio Operator onB-24H (42-50331) Liberator of the 856th Bomber Squadron, 492nd Bomber Group performing the “Carpetbagger” mission to parachute six OSS (Office of Strategic Operations) operatives from Team Norso II (of the Norwegian Operational Group) as part of Operation Rype into Norway on March 31, 1945.
Operation Rype was a mission to impede the redeployment of enemy forces from Norway to Germany. The OSS was a precursor to the CIA.
While enroute to the parachute drop, the plane was forced to turn around due to bad weather. Upon return to Scotland, the plane lost 2 engines and the pilot directed the crew and passengers to bail out. Only the Co-Pilot was able to do so and survived. The rest perished when the plan crashed just south of Kirkwall, Orkney near St. Ola. A memorial remembers the crew and operatives on ““Liberator” Drive in Kirkwall.
FROM FIND A GRAVE:He resided in Contra Costa County, California prior to the war. He enlisted in the Army on January 14, 1943 in San Francisco, California. He was noted, at the time of his enlistment, as being employed as a Stock clerk and also as Single, without dependents.