Keith M. Bullock
A dedicated man with a quest for historical data on that Air War over Europe.
Always ready to help the survivors of those bomber crashes and their families to seek peace.
He is an extremely difficult person to describe as he is extremely reluctant to tell anyone about himself. Although I have never met him I have been corresponding with him for almost three years now and in reading between his lines I learned to respect his dedication in research and truth finding.
Keith was in the British RAF during World War II and after the war he was sent to Israel and then to Iraq where he eventually completed his overseas duties in June 1946. He was still being shot at sometimes by friendly forces. Somewhere in life he decided to live in the Tirol and enjoy those snow capped Alpine Mountains in the winter and the high grassy meadows, the kind that we watched in the movie “The sound of Music”. I am only guessing that his life’s work was either in Architecture or Engineering since his research is so exact.
In the early 1990’s he was asked about a bomber crash site near the village where he now lives - - would he try to find out how many of the airmen had been killed - - how many had survived and were any of them alive today This, evidently, became the catalyst that started Keith on his quest. He was so intrigued with the thought of such research after almost fifty years he must have dropped all other worthy projects and went at it with full throttles. I don’t believe his air speed has diminished a single knot. Look at what he has accomplished with just snail mail and the e-mail system on the internet.
He had contacted just about every Veterans organization in America - - every government department that in any way was connected veterans affairs. Including the Secretary of the Air force, the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis, The Maxwell Air Force Base Military Records Office, Veterans Administration for the Records of living and deceased Veterans and so many other branches of our Government. All this he accomplished by using his own retirement funds.
In his correspondence he has compilied records containing many Missing Aircrew Reports (MACRs) - - has a listing of more than seven thousand heavy bombers that were shot down over Europe during WW II - - has visited many crash sites and has been instrumental in determining the names of the men KIA or survived and then were made POWs. He has listed eyewitness accounts of those bombers when and where they were shot down. He has traveled to many church cemeteries to try to find any record of the airmen KIA., and to his surprise many of the then enemy, the terror Fliegers, received proper and ceremonious burials.
On March 29, 2000 a new monument was scheduled to be dedicated at Kardein, near Bozen in the Southtirol. But this was postponed at his request for he was still trying, after well over a year of researching, to find the relatives of the eleven man crew of this liberator shot down over Bozen on March 29 1944. Ten of the airmen were KIA with one survivor who passed away in 1992. The organizers of the erection of this monument were anxious to invite any relative of this crew to attend the ceremony. They had not been successful in finding any. However during the past few weeks he has been able to find one family and three of the family members will be coming to Bozen on September 17, 2000 to take part in the dedication ceremony. His efforts are now centered on the 465th Bomb Group.
On August 3, 1944, while on a bombing mission to Friedrichshafen, in Southern Germany eight of these heavy bombers were shot down in less than one minute by German fighters. There are eye-witnesses to this event and all the crash sites are identified and recorded. Seventy nine airmen crewed these bombers, 30 were KIA and 49 were captured and became POWs - - most of them after a stay in a hospital. Keith and a local friend has received permission from the various authorities in the Tirol to erect marker plaques on each of the crash sites. He has made contact with sixteen of the survivors or their families and has informed them all of what is being done. Some have offered donations to help with the costs of the project. And it goes on and on for this unselfish dedicated man with a lot of energy and sympathy for the heroic deeds by past generations of warriors. Keith Tells me of something that he has often heard said when interviewing eye-witnesses in the Tirol, “Thank God the Allies Won”
Thank you Keith for bringing closure to so many American Families.
Written by William J. Fili
European WW II Monuments