Date of Interview
William Price was born 24 December 1924 in Dearborn, Michigan; he attended local schools, graduating from Dearborn High School in 1943. Soon thereafter he volunteered for the US Army Air Corps, and after Basic Training was sent to gunnery school, then assigned to the crew of a B-29 Superfortress 4-engine bomber. In March 1945 his crew was posted to North Field, Guam, a main base for bombing missions against mainland Japan. Over the next weeks the crew completed six missions, but on their seventh, on 7 April 1945, their plane was downed over Nagoya, Japan; Bill was one of only three crew members to survive the downing of the plane. All three became prisoners of the Japanese. Bill remembers that he was held briefly at a Nagoya location before being transported to Camp Omori, a POW facility on the outskirts of Tokyo. At Nagoya and Omori, Bill and other captured B-29 crewmembers were kept separate from other POWs, for the Japanese did not consider them normal military prisoners but rather, because of the nature of their missions against civilian targets, war criminals. Bill endured solitary confinement, interrogations, and a near-starvation diet. Only in mid-August 1945, and the end of the Pacific War, were Bill and the other B-29 men released to the regular Omori facility, which soon thereafter was liberated by American forces. Bill spent many months in hospitals recovering from his ordeal before being discharged in March 1946. After the military Bill returned to Dearborn. He got married in 1948 (wife Maxine), and spent a career working with the Ford Motor Company. Following his retirement in 1985, Bill and Maxine relocated to Marietta, Georgia, where Bill was interviewed in March 2004.
All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced without the written permission of Concordia University Library or Thomas Saylor, Department of History, Concordia University, St. Paul.
Saylor, Thomas, "Oral History Project World War II Years, 1941-1946 - Bill Price" (2004). Oral History Project: World War II Years, 1941-1946. 61.