DAVIDSON  PAUL  L    O-723309    CAPT    KIA
Portland Press Herald - July 17, 1945

By Rob Carr

At about 10:45 a.m. on March 2, 1945,
at 25,000 feet the 365th Bomb
Squadron of the 305th Bombing Group
were making their bombing approach to
the Nazi fuel and chemical factories of
Bohlen, Germany. The lead plane of the
365th Bomb Squadron was three
minutes away from the target area, when
it was suddenly struck by flak on the left
side of the cockpit, knocking off one of
the engines. The plane went into a
sharp wing over sending it into a dive.
The B-17 dove straight down
disintegrating at about 15,000 feet. All
crew members except for one perished
with the plane. S/SGT Robert L. Lynes
was the only one to escape the falling
aircraft. He was knocked out by the
initial hit from the flak, he regained
consciousness just long enough to
escape the plane and pull his ripcord.
He was later captured by the Germans.
The navigator on board that day was
Captain Paul L. Davidson. He was the
son of Mr. and Mrs. William J. Davidson
of Gardiner, Maine. Captain Davidson
was a veteran of 28 prior combat
missions and held several awards
including the Air Medal, Silver Star,
Purple Heart and two bronze battle
stars. He graduated high school in 1941
from Phillips Andover Academy where he
played on the soccer and track teams.
He joined the Army in 1943 , while he
was a sophomore at Bowdoin College.
At Bowdoin he was a pole vaulter on the
track team and belonged to fraternity of
Alpha Delta Phi. He was 22.