What I know is that my grandfather, Hal Howard Hill (born 6.20.19 and died 9.24.2004) served in the 8th Air Force as a flight engineer on B-24s and he was stationed at Metfield in England. His service number was 13131686. I have letters from him to my grandmother dated as follows
February 12, 1943 from Atlantic City (perhaps in training? The letter mentions being in "Flight A, Group 6)
June 2, 1945 from France (the letters make it sound like he was recovering from an injury in France?)
June 10, 1945 from Paris
July 27, 1945 from Boston - Western Union telegram that reads "Arrived safely. Expect to see you soon. Don't attempt to contact or write me here. Love, Hal"
When I was little, he would always show me a piece of mangled metal and would tell me that his plane was hit and that this piece of metal was the shrapnel that was lodged in his neck. It would be great to know the name of his plane and then I could hopefully figure out the missions he flew on and if his plane was hit or if that was a tall tale. My cousin is under the impression that he was honorably discharged due to having a mental health crisis (had a psychotic break and was found walking the flight line).
I have his wings, his 8th Air Force badge and pin, and his bars. I've been able to identify some of the bars (I think), with the exception of one of them, and believe that another of the bars *could* be a purple heart. I'm hoping someone can help me identify these. I believe they are U.S. Victory (red with a rainbow on both left and right sides), unidentified (navy with gray/silver thick bar in the center and a thin gray/silver line on either side of the thicker bar), Good Conduct (red with 3 white lines on the left and right sides), Air Medal (blue bar with thick orange bars on the left and right sides) and finally, could it be a Purple Heart (purple with white on the left and right sides)?! I wish I could figure out how to upload a photo.
He didn't talk about his experience, except for the story about his plane being hit and for another story about how he claims to have seen Queen Elizabeth chatting with servicemen after a blitz in England. Other than that, his experiences and service history are a mystery. Please help!