AFM 200-25  16 January 1961               Korean War POW/MIA Network

Botter, William Joseph

TSgt; AF 33570888 372d Bomb Sq;
Flight Engineer B-29A; 44-61940

Identifying Data:  Birth Date. 27 August 1924  Race. Caucasian

Eyes: hazel; Hair: brown; Height: 5'8"; Weight: 146 lbs. Note: "

(Circumstances of Loss," Subsequent Reports," and "Conclusion" are the same those given for 1st Lt Wayne Forest Black)

Circumstances of Loss:

1. Reported MIA 23 October 1951.

2. About 0945 hours, 23 October 1951, Lt Black's plane was attacked by MIG-15's after turning from its target, Namsi Airfield. The number-two engine was hit and caught fire. When last seen, the plane was disappearing into the clouds below, but was still under control.

Subsequent Reports:

1. Of the crew of IS, 1 was rescued, remains of 1 were recovered from the Korean Bay, and 5 were captured and repatriated.

2. 1st Lt Fred L. Beissner, Jr., rescued copilot of the plane, reported that attempts to put out the fire were unsuccessful. The plane's commander gave the order to bail out at about 1000 hours. The altitude was about 18,000 feet The bombardier, flight engineer, commander, and himself were the last to jump. All four had dinghies. As he floated down, he saw three parachutes nearby. He was sure that all of the crew had bailed out successfully. There were many planes in the area. He was picked up at 1715 hours by a ship, which anchored at the spot all night. No signals or objects were sighted.

Conclusion:

All of the crew had time to clear the aircraft. The fact that five other crewmen were captured indicates a strong possibility that others were, too.

 

Personal History:

Birthplace. Johnstown, Pa.

Cities of Residence. Johnstown, Pa.; Da^ son (Tulsa).Okla.

WW II Service. European Theater, En land,

Wife & Children.' (redacted)

Civilian Schools, Grammar School, John town, Pa., 1938; High School, Johnstown, Ps 1942.

Military Schools. Chanute AFB, 111. (ai craft machinist, Aug. 43); Topeka AFI Kans. (Technical School, airplane pow* plant mechanic, May 49); Chanute AFB, I] (flight engineer, ground phase, Feb. 50).

Previous Occupation. Aircraft mechanic holds commercial pilot's license No. 69326!

Languages & Special Skills. Speaks, read, and writes French fairly well; reads music and plays drums.

Korean War POW/MIA Network