Claude Queffelec recalls:
3 Thunderbolts attacked a Flak battery situated on the banks of the river Oise at around 14H30, opposite his house. He was a teenager at the time and recalls watching the aircraft swoop down to attack the gun (Many white lines marked the guns which accounted for their hits). One of the Thunderbolts, piloted by William H. Merriam 406 Fighter Group (9th Airforce). After completing yet another dive attack on the gun, was caught in the gun fire.
His aircraft crashed into the hill side above the cave entrance to the V1 dump.He was buried in the Local Churchyard and many of the locals despite the curfew laid flowers on his grave.
W.H.Merriam now lays to rest at the Blosville US Military Cemetery (Normandy)
LIEUTENANT COLONEL, W.H.MERRIAM, JOINED THE ARMY AIR CORPS IN 1939; TRAINED AS A FIGHTER PILOT. THEN HE WAS SENT TO ENGLAND TO OBSERVE HOW THE ROYAL AIR FORCE FLEW, AND FOUGHT AGAINST THE GERMAN AIR FORCE.
RETURNED TO THE U.S. TO TRAIN U.S. PILOTS, THEN RETURNED TO ENGLAND AND FLEW FIGHTER AIRCRAFT.
SHOT DOWN AND KILLED ON JUNE 3, 1944, WHILE LEADING A FIGHTER SQUADRON GROUP IN STRAFING GERMANY INSTALLATION AND SUPPLY TRAINS IN FRANCE, PRIOR TO THE D-DAY LANDING.