Black Hawk County

Lt. Churchill T. Williams




Williams Given Silver Star for Bombing Cruiser

Allied Headquarters in the Southwest Pacific—(AP)—Second Lt. Churchill T. Williams, 218 Logan avenue, Waterloo, Ia., was among nine airmen to whom Lt. Gen. George C. Kenney awarded silver stars Tuesday for their part in attacking enemy shipping in Ambon harbor, Aboina, Dutch East Indies.

All the men were members of a Liberator bomber crew which made a bombing run over an enemy light cruiser in the face of intense and accurate anti-aircraft fire from enemy shore and naval batteries.

One bomb hit the cruiser amidship and subsequent reconnaissance revealed that it sank.

Lieutenant Williams was in Waterloo in July for a visit with his wife, the former Marval Fern, who resided with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. L. E. Fern, 218 Logan avenue. He has now reported to his new assignment at Pocatello, Idaho.

Mrs. Williams left last week to join him there after resigning her position at the J. B. Young Intermediate school in Davenport, where she taught last year.

Lieutenant Williams was graduated from Iowa State Teachers college in 1938 and formerly taught school at Morning Sun, Ia. He later became assistant cashier at the Brenton State Bank at Dallas Center, Ia., before volunteering for service Jan. 8, 1942. He was commissioned July 26, 1942, at Luke field, Phoenix, Ariz.

Source: Waterloo Daily Courier, August 24, 1943 (photo included)

Oelwein, Waterloo Men Get Air Medal

General Headquarters Southwest Pacific Area—(INS)—Awards of the air medal to the following Iowa fliers in the southwest Pacific area were announced Wednesday by Lt. Gen. George C. Kenny, Commander of the Allied Air Force in that theatre.

First Lt. Paul J. Larson, Des Moines, for participating in 25 operational flights at low altitudes over enemy installations.

Sgt. James R. Wall, Oelwein, crew-member of a bomber that scored a direct hit on an enemy transport in the Bismarck Sea last March.

Staff Sgt. Maurice E. Stearn, Decatur, crew-member of a bomber that severely damaged three hostile transports and shot down six enemy planes in a battle over Huon gulf, New Guinea, last January.

Second Lt. Churchill T. Williams
, Waterloo, crew member of a heavy bomber that damaged two Jap cargo vessels during a run over Wewak harbor, New Guinea.

Source: Waterloo Daily Courier, September 1, 1943

City Has Five on Hero List From Pacific

Among those listed in an Associated Press dispatch Monday as flying heroes of the second year of war in the southwest Pacific theater were five Waterloo airmen and a sixth from Cedar Falls.

On the Waterloo list were:
Lt. Churchill T. Williams
Lt. James P. Hagerstrom
Lt. George R. Fisher, Jr.
Lt. Robert E. Ludtke
Capt. James W. Selzer.

The Cedar Falls flier honored was Capt. Roy W. Olsen.

Lieutenant Williams is holder of the Silver Star for gallantry in action. Lieutenant Hagerstrom has been awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for heroism and extraordinary achievement.

Lieutenants Ludtke and Fisher and Captain Selzer were listed as receiving the Air Medal for meritorious achievement.

Captain Olsen’s award was the Legion of Merit.

The story relates that more than 110 medals have been awarded to Iowans in the southwest Pacific theater, with the recipients accounting for 11,000 hours of combat flying.

Source: Waterloo Daily Courier, April 17, 1944