William H. Kuhlman never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.
He was born on July 12, 1918 in Texas. His parents Fredrick (age 52) and Daisy (age 25) were born in Indiana and Texas, respectively. Their mothers were most likely sisters. William's grandparents were from Germany. His father worked as a plastering contractor. William had one older brother. By 1940 William had completed two years of college and was working as a wholesale paper company office clerk.
He enlisted in the Army Air Forces on January 9, 1942 as an aviation cadet. He was accepted to train as an officer and navigator flying B-17 Flying Fortresses. He had the rank of 2nd lieutenant and was assigned to the 367th Bombardment Squadron, 306th Bombardment Group, 8th Air Force. This unit was one of the first sent to England, arriving in early September 1942.
On October 2, 1942 Lt. Kuhlman was on a high altitude training mission over England when one of the crew had a failure with his oxygen system. When he started turning blue the pilots made a decision to descend to a lower altitude as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, the dive was too much for the plane and it broke apart during the rapid descent. Eight men on board perished, including Lt. Kuhlman. Two managed to parachute to safety.
His grave is at Oakwood Cemetery in Fort Worth, Texas.
Last year on this date I profiled Distinguished Service Cross hero and C-47 pilot John Corsetti. You can read about John here.
On behalf of the fallen, if you would like to see more people become aware of this project to honor the WW2 fallen, be sure to share with others on Twitter, Facebook, etc. Thanks for your interest!
I created this video to explain why I started this project: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXt8QA481lY.
Please consider joining the public Facebook group to increase the exposure of this project. Go to: WW2 Fallen 100