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S/SGT  William H. SARGENT

UNIT: 350th BOMB Sqdn POSITION: WG
SERIAL #: STATUS: CPT
MACR:

Comments1: 22 FEB 45 KITZINGEN/Wehinger (ST)

COMMENTS & NOTES

MEMO 1:

CREW

2ND LT ALBERT M. WILLOUGHBY       P CPT 9 MAR 45 FRANKFURT  sn# 0-821131
2ND LT JACK L. MCKINNEY               CP CPT 9 MAR 45 FRANKFURT
2ND LT RALPH A. NITE                  NAV CPT 9 MAR 45 FRANKFURT
2ND LT JAMES R. WOOTEN           BOM CPT 9 MAR 45 FRANKFURT
T/SGT JOSEPH M. VACCARO          TTE CPT 22 FEB 45 WEHINGER, RAIL JUNCTION   (left Crew after 15 missions)
T/SGT ROBERT W. COLEMAN         ROG CPT 9 MAR 45 FRANKFURT
S/SGT EMERY B. HUTCHINGS         BTG CPT  24 MAR 45 VARRELBUSCH, GER.          (with 94th Bomb Group, SEE BELOW)
S/SGT WILLIAM H. SARGENT        RWG CPT 22 FEB 45 WEHINGER, RAIL JUNCTION (left Crew after 15 missions)      TAPS: 22 MAY 1973
S/SGT GLEN E. BARDWELL            LWG CPT 9 MAR 45 FRANKFURT (Taken off crew to reduce to 9 Men but returns to becomes BTG
                                                                                                when Hutchings transfers to 94th BG after 5 Missions)
S/SGT LEONARD F. KERCHER           TG CPT 9 MAR 45 FRANKFURT                                                                      TAPS: 11 MAY 1980

350TH SQDN…CREW JOINED THE 100TH LATE AUGUST OR EARLY SEPTEMBER 1944.  Flew many missions in A/C 338383 RAMBLIN' REBEL

LETTER FROM WILLOUGHBY TO jb DATED  6 MAY 1982 READS AS FOLLOWS;  THIS CREW FLEW IT'S FIRST MISSION WITH THE 100TH ON 26 SEP 1944  (BREMEN, TANK WORKS) AND THE 35TH MISSION ON  9 MAR 45 (FRANKFURT, AC FACTORY). "OF MY ORIGINAL CREW, McKINNEY, NITE, WOOTEN, KERCHER, COLEMAN, & BARDWELL STAYED WITH ME ALL THE WAY. VACCARO, SARGENT AND HUTCHINGS, WHO WAS FLYING A SECOND TOUR, WERE REPLACED AFTER FIFTEEN MISSIONS AND I HAVE LOST TRACK OF THEM AND THEIR REPLACEMENTS.  AFTER THE WAR McKINNEY CAME BACK TO THE NEW YORK YANKEE FARM SYSTEM AND PLAYED PRO BASEBALL FOR SEVERAL YEARS.  HE WAS QUITE A PITCHER AND ROSE TO AAA.  HE NOW LIVES IN ATLANTA, GA. NITE WENT BACK TO WENT BACK TO COLLEGE AND BECAME A BAPTIST MINISTER IN KANSAS CITY.  WOOTEN ALSO WENT BACK TO COLLEGE AND BECAME A TEACHER IN HIS NATIVE KENTUCKY.  KERCHER WAS FARMING IN NEBRASKA LAST I HEARD.  I STAYED IN THE AIRFORCE FLYING B-29S, B-47S AND KC 135S, MOSTLY IN THE STRATEGIC AIR COMMAND AND RETIRED IN 1973 A FULL COLONEL."….COL A.M. WILLOUGHBY

CREW after 15 Missions:

2nd Lt Albert M. Willoughby P
2nd Lt Jack L. McKinney     CP
2nd Lt Ralph A. Nite        NAV
2nd Lt James R. Wooten BOM
T/Sgt   ???????              TTE (Sgt Edward  C. Butchino from Capt Van Stennis/Hard Luck Crew flew a mission or two with this crew) 
T/Sgt Robert Coleman     ROG
S/Sgt Leonard F. Kercher TG 
S/Sgt   ???????              WG 
S/Sgt Glen E. Bardwell    BTG (Rejoins crew to become BTG when Hutchings transferred to 94th BG after 5 missions)


   MISSIONS OF 2ND LT ALBERT M. WILLOUGHBY (mpf 2000)

1.     26/9/44 Bremen
2.     27/9/44 Mainz
3.     28/9/44 Merseburg
4.     30/9/44 Bielefeld
5.     6/10/44 BERLIN
6.   12/10/44 Bremen (S/Sgt Bardwell rejoins crew as BTG, replaceing Hutchings)
7.   15/10/44 Cologne
8.   22/10/44 Munster
9.   26/10/44 Misburg
10. 30/10/44 Heligoland
11.   5/11/44 Thionville
12.    6/11/44 Neumunster
13.  16/11/44 Aachen
14.   5/12/44 BERLIN
15. 11/12/44 Giessen (T/Sgt Vaccaro and S/Sgt Sargent leave crew)
16. 24/12/44 Biblis
17. 25/12/44 Kaiserslauten
18. 27/12/44 Fulda
19. 29/12/44 Frankfurt
20.     5/1/45 Frankfurt
21.     6/1/45 Germersheim
22.     7/1/45 Cologne
23.   20/1/45 Breisack
24.     6/2/45 Bohlen
25.   14/2/45 Chemnitz
26.   15/2/45 Ruhland
27.   17/2/45 Giessen
28.   22/2/45 Kitzingen/Treuchtlingen
29.   24/2/45 Bremen
30.   25/2/45 Munich
31.   26/2/45 BERLIN
32.  28/2/45 Kassel
33.    3/3/45 Brunswick
34.    7/3/45 Datteln, Siegen ST
35.   9/3/45 Frankfurt

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S/SGT EMERY HUTCHINGS INFO: from Chris Argent flyingfortress297082@yahoo.co.uk

What I can say is that on his first tour with the 94th BG he flew with Lt. William S. Winnwshiek with the 333rd BS. They were one of the original crews. When S/Sgt. Hutchings returned for his second tour, he was assigned to the 100th Bomb Group, 350th BS in September 1944 and flew 5 missions with Lt Willoughby Crew (Lt Willoughby states it was 15 missions before the change).   Sgt Hutchings arranged a transfer back  to the 94th BG in October 1944 and flew his final mission on March 24th 1945 to Varrelbusch, Gerlmany.  Hutchings requested and was given permission to fly his last mission with Capt. Winneshiek (who was also flying as second tour) 

  According to the 94th Bomb Group unit history, Hutchings was assigned to the the 100th BG to fly his second tour of duty but wrangled a transfer back to the 94th after only 5 missions.  There he flew as an spare gunner through many more rough missions. His original pilot, Lt Winneshiek had also returned to the 94th BG for a second tour.  Both men had contributed a great deal toward the legends of the 94th Bomb Group. 


S/SGT EMERY HUTCHINGS MISSIONS WITH THE 100TH BOMB GROUP: 

Date Crew Nbr Mission Nbr Last Name Initial Rank Position Aircraft Nbr Target
9/26/1944 37 200 KERCHER L.F. S/SGT TG 38457 BREMEN
9/26/1944 37 200 VACCARO J.M. S/SGT TTE 38457 BREMEN
9/26/1944 37 200 HUTCHINGS E.B. S/SGT BTG 38457 BREMEN
9/26/1944 37 200 WOOTEN J.R. LT BOM 38457 BREMEN
9/26/1944 37 200 NITE R.A. LT NAV 38457 BREMEN
9/26/1944 37 200 TAYLOR T.D. LT CP 38457 BREMEN (from Lt Ebel Crew)
9/26/1944 37 200 WILLBOUGHBY A.M. LT P 38457 BREMEN
9/26/1944 37 200 SARGENT W.H. S/SGT RWG 38457 BREMEN
9/26/1944 37 200 COLEMAN R.W. T/SGT ROG 38457 BREMEN

9/27/1944 37 201 WOOTEN J.R. LT BOM 38457 MAINZ
9/27/1944 37 201 KERCHER L.F. S/SGT TG 38457 MAINZ
9/27/1944 37 201 SARGENT W.H. S/SGT RWG 38457 MAINZ
9/27/1944 37 201 HUTCHINGS E.B. S/SGT BTG 38457 MAINZ
9/27/1944 37 201 COLEMAN R.W. T/SGT ROG 38457 MAINZ
9/27/1944 37 201 NITE R.A. LT NAV 38457 MAINZ
9/27/1944 37 201 TAYLOR T.D. LT CP 38457 MAINZ      (from Lt Elbel Crew)
9/27/1944 37 201 WILLBOUGHBY A.M. LT P 38457 MAINZ
9/27/1944 37 201 VACCARO J.M. S/SGT TTE 38457 MAINZ

9/28/1944 37 202 HUTCHINGS E.B. S/SGT BTG 38457 MERSEBURG
9/28/1944 37 202 MCKINNEY J.L. LT CP 38457 MERSEBURG
9/28/1944 37 202 KERCHER L.F. S/SGT TG 38457 MERSEBURG
9/28/1944 37 202 SARGENT W.H. S/SGT RWG 38457 MERSEBURG
9/28/1944 37 202 VACCARO J.M. S/SGT TTE 38457 MERSEBURG
9/28/1944 37 202 COLEMAN R.W. T/SGT ROG 38457 MERSEBURG
9/28/1944 37 202 NITE R.A. LT NAV 38457 MERSEBURG
9/28/1944 37 202 WILLBOUGHBY A.M. LT P 38457 MERSEBURG
9/28/1944 37 202 WOOTEN J.R. LT BOM 38457 MERSEBURG

9/30/1944 37 203 WILLBOUGHBY A.M. LT P 38457 BIELEFELD
9/30/1944 37 203 MCKINNEY J.L. LT CP 38457 BIELEFELD
9/30/1944 37 203 NITE R.A. LT NAV 38457 BIELEFELD
9/30/1944 37 203 WOOTEN J.R. LT BOM 38457 BIELEFELD
9/30/1944 37 203 COLEMAN R.W. T/SGT ROG 38457 BIELEFELD
9/30/1944 37 203 VACCARO J.M. S/SGT TTE 38457 BIELEFELD
9/30/1944 37 203 HUTCHINGS E.B. S/SGT BTG 38457 BIELEFELD
9/30/1944 37 203 SARGENT W.H. S/SGT RWG 38457 BIELEFELD
9/30/1944 37 203 KERCHER L.F. S/SGT TG 38457 BIELEFELD

Fifth mission would have been Berlin on October 6, 1944

*****************************************************************************************************************9/MIKE 
I think what you stated is probably correct. In a letter I recieved from BOBBY COLEMAN ROG  he mentions LEN KERCHER as TG and my dad as the BTG on amission they flew.  THANKS for the info. CRAIG

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
From: "MPFaley@aol.com" 
To: cabardy@att.net; xr_crew@yahoo.com
Cc: goodman.cindy@gmail.com
Sent: Tue, March 27, 2012 7:39:49 PM
Subject: Re: Crew photos,misc


Craig,
 based on your information, I think the following happened.  
Len Kercher stays at TG position and Glen Bardwell goes overseas as a WG, is taken off crew to reduce to 9 men but Emery Hutchings leaves the crew and 100th BG after only 5 missions and goes to the 94th BG where he flew his tour.  It is at this point that your Dad rejoins crew and takes over Ball Turret Gunner position.   That would make more sense.  After 15 missions,  I believe Vaccaro and Sargent end up on another crew together and finish on same day.  Rare to see two men leave one crew and finish on the same day without being on same crew.  


MIKE 
I found another letter from B.COLEMAN.In it he states my dad was in the spare group to start.He thought dad flew at least 30 missions with them.I found his LUCKY BASTARDS CLUB certificate and that states he flew 29 missions. Thinking back Im sure he told me he flew 35.Did they get credit for missions flown in the spare group? THANKS MIKE.
CRAIG Bardwell (son of glen bardwell)


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Good afternoon!  I am Janet Anderson, daughter of Albert M. Willoughby, a member of the 100th Bomb Group stationed at Thorpe Abbots during World War II.  He and my mother Elaine will attend the Sept. 6-9 reunion in Nashville.  My sister Sherrie Sparger and I will accompany them, and we are so looking forward to sharing this experience with my parents and having the opportunity to meet other 100th Bomb Group veterans and hear their stories, as well.  We are so proud of my father and he will always be a hero to us!

Attached are two documents about my dad that we would like to share with you and others; hopefully, they will become a part of the historical information and personal memorabilia you are compiling about the 100th Bomb Group.   

1.       The first document is a biographical newsletter about my father and mother published by my daughter Stephanie as a college project – the title is “The Life of Al Willoughby – A Life Well Lived.”  It relays in a meaningful and touching way how very important his service to his country, starting as a young man, has been in his life.   (Stephanie received an A+ on this project, and her professor said she was deeply touched by Dad’s story.)

2.       The second document is the transcript of an interview conducted by another college student for the Eastern Oklahoma County Regional History Center titled “Col. Albert M. Willoughby: Experiences as a World War II B-17 Bomber Pilot.”  In this interview my father shares in his own words his memories of his service as a pilot during WWII. 

 
Please feel free to publish or share this information with any interested parties, and do not hesitate to contact me, my father, or my sister if additional information is desired (contact information below).   Please let me know if hard copies are needed and I will be happy to mail them to you.  Thank you so much, and we look forward to being with you in Nashville in September!

 

Janet E. Anderson

Tel: (405) 822-4926

E-Mail:  jeasea@aol.com 

 

Albert M. Willoughby

Tel: (405) 733-0348

E-Mail:  amwcew1948@cox.net

 

Sherrie Sparger

Tel: (405) 737-1956

sparteach@cox.net

*****************************************************************************************************************

Col. Albert M. Willoughby: Experiences as a World War II B-17 Bomber Pilot
Nancy P. Manzo (Student Interview)
Interview Date: February 13, 2004

Abstract
Colonel Albert M. Willoughby served in the army air corps in World War II as a bomber pilot. He speaks of his years as a teen in the late 1930’s listening to radio reports of Hitler and the eminent threat of war. His recollection of the report of the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the reaction of his family and friends when hearing of young Willoughby’s enlistment is also discussed. Col. Willoughby tells of the conditions under which he lived and worked while in the service as well as his most memorable experience while serving. In conclusion Colonel Albert M. Willoughby has words of encouragement for the youth of today.

Q: Colonel Willoughby, when and where were you born?
A: I was born December 4, 1922 in a little town in Georgia, Union Point, Georgia; that’s about eighty miles east of Atlanta.
Q: I see. When did you first begin thinking that the U.S. might get involved in WWII?
A: It was in the late 30’s. We used to…my parents used to turn the radio on early in the morning and quite frequently they would be broadcasting speeches by Adolph Hitler.
Q: Oh, my!
A: . . . And then the commentary from reporters who were at the places where he was speaking indicated that it was, that he was very aggressive and probably it would lead to war which certainly, it did.
Q: So this was even before the attack of Pearl Harbor?
A: Oh, yes, yes, this was in the late 30’s. I was, was just a youngster at the time but I remember it quite vividly.
Q: OK. So even before Pearl Harbor you were pretty well certain that we were headed for war?
A: Oh yes, yes, that’s right.
Q: What was your reaction and the reaction of your family and friends when Pearl Harbor was attacked?
A: Well it was surprise, disbelief, ah, puzzled. Why would they do something like that? But I was in college at the time and I remember on a Sunday afternoon several of us were out on the dormitory grounds throwing the football around – just – and somebody ran out and said, “Hey, the Japs just bombed Pearl Harbor!” And I remember one of my friends says, “Where’s Pearl Harbor?” So we all went in a gathered around the radio and listened to it. And, of course, the next day they had the address by President Roosevelt declaring war and giving facts about the bombing and how many casualties we’d suffered. So it was quite a vivid day in my memory.
Q: I’m sure after that time everybody knew where Pearl Harbor was, didn’t they?
A: That’s right, that’s right, you’re right.
Q: How old were you in December of ‘41?
A: I was nineteen
Q: Nineteen.
A: Yes.
Q: And, ah, so you were not already in the military?
A: No, no, I enlisted in September of 1942, after I finished the junior college where I was going to school and, ah, I joined the army air corps in September, 1942.
Q: And, ah, so you did enlist?
A: Yes, yes, I enlisted.
Q: And how did the other men in your area feel about serving in the military?
A: There was a unanimous, ah, feeling among all of my contemporaries that we’ve got to get in there and fight these people.
Q: That is very encouraging isn’t it?
A: Oh, yes, I don’t think we’ve experienced anything like that quite today. The attitudes have changed, but back then it was amazing how patriotic and proud the people were of the country.
Q: How did your family – I don’t know if you were married at the time?
A: No, I was not married.
Q: OK, how did your family and your friends feel about you going off to war?
A: They were encouraged, they encouraged me. They were proud that I had chosen to do that and they were especially proud that I had qualified to be a pilot and go through pilot training.
Q: Exciting! How exciting!
A: Yes, I had had an uncle who had been a WWI pilot, and they were very proud of him and, ah, I sort of carried on the family tradition in their minds, I think.
Q: Oh, that is exciting! Yes! So what branch of the military did you serve?
A: I served in the army air corps. That was before the air force became a separate service.
Q: OK.
A: It was part of the overall United States Army, United States Army Air Corp.
Q: OK.
A: That’s what I was in.
Q: And where did you undertake basic training?
A: I took my initial training at Maxwell Field, Alabama. Montgomery, Alabama. They call that pre-flight training. And then my flying training was conducted in three phases. First phase was primary flying training in Union City, Tennessee. Then Secondary training was at Newport, Arkansas and then my final training before I got my wings and commission was in Blytheville, Arkansas.
Q: Blyville?
A: Blytheville, Arkansas, yes.
Q: And what was this training experience like, being in training?
A: Oh, it was very interesting. We had sort of a hazing system there. The upperclassmen would haze the underclassmen, and they made you feel glad when you got to be an upperclassman and could . . .
Q: You could do the same to those. . .
A: . . .return some of the favors. It was a very well-planned training system they had, It had some good instructors. We had civilian instructors when I was in primary, but the military instructors were responsible for the secondary and then the advanced training. So, it was good.
Q: OK. What about your interactions with men from other parts of the country? How were their feelings?
A: I think it was more or less a unanimous feeling wherever they were from. I had classmates in my training period from all over the country and we’d kid each other about the Civil War, for example, and being a Yankee or a Rebel and so forth, but they were very patriotic – everyone was – and looked forward to getting to flying combat missions.
Q: After basic training where did the military send you?
A: When I – after I finished my pilot training I was sent to Sebring, Florida, to train in B-17 bombers. The B-17 was a WWII bomber – a very, very famous airplane. I went through training for it and when I completed that I went through an operational training program, also in Florida, and then went to England and was assigned to the Eighth Air Force.
Q: OK, and were assigned. . . ?
A: To the Eighth Air Force in England.
Q: OK. In what capacity did you serve in WWII?
A: Well, I was primarily a bomber pilot. When the war ended I was in for a few more months. I didn’t know whether I wanted to stay in or not and I finally ended up in a some administrative position – just sort of make work, because they had so many people they didn’t know what to do with at the end of the war. So I got out in January 1946, and went back to school at the University of Georgia. And in the mean time I was offered a regular commission, and my folks weren’t quite as agreeable about going back in as they were originally, but, ah, I prevailed and I went back in after having been out a year and ended up retiring in October 1973, after serving thirty-one years and one month.
Q: Oh, my!
A: It was a wonderful experience, and, ah, but my primary duty during the war was my bombing missions over Germany. I flew 35 combat missions and I was reading a statistic recently that the number of people who finished their designated quota of missions was in the vicinity of about twenty-five per cent, so I guess I was one of the lucky ones who got through.
Q: Wow! Yes, you certainly were! In terms of your own experience during WWII, under what kind of conditions did you live and work?
A: Well, being in the air corps we were pretty well taken care of – we – at the base in England, for example, we had the Quonset huts – those are the round topped huts, but they were well heated, and, ah, we had good facilities, ah, good food, good amenities to support us when we were flying missions. And, ah, the, ah, ground forces – we seen how they had to live in the mud and the snow and ice – it was, ah, we were far better taken care of then they were because we had different organization and a different mission than they had.
Q: I see. What kind of contact did you have with people back home during the war?
A: Well, they had v-mail that they would – you would write a letter and they would photostat copies of it and mail it and free postage. So I corresponded regularly with my closer friends and my parents and other family members, ah, probably two or three times a week and mail from them came quite regularly on schedule.
Q: OK. The military didn’t have any limitations or restrictions on their correspondence?
A: They had a censorship program. An officer censored his own mail. . .
Q: I see.
A: . . . But enlisted people – they’d have to have some – have an officer review theirs . . .
Q: I see.
A: . . .and he just looked to see if he was putting any locations or . . .
Q: Yes.
A: . . . And details of missions that weren’t supposed to go in. I never had any problem with any of my crew members. Most people knew what they were supposed to do and did it.
Q: If you feel comfortable talking about combat, could you describe the combat experiences you had?
A: Yes, ah, the Germans were formidable opponents. They had tremendous weapons systems and munitions and they had anti-aircraft – flak we called it – which was quite accurate. And then they had tremendous fighter planes that . . .
Q: Anti-aircraft what?
A: Anti-aircraft artillery, they called – which was called flak – f-l-a-k.
Q: F-l-a-k. OK.
A: Yea. And then we had – the fighters were quite active. They’d shoot down a lot of our planes. We just accepted that as something we had to do. I don’t – don’t want to minimize the fact that we were afraid. . .
Q: Yes. Yes.
A: . . . But we had good successes in our missions, so that’s one of the things that lead to their finally having to give up their fight.
Q: What was . . .(tape cuts out) . . .otherwise?
A: I think it was Christmas 1944. The Germans had invaded the Ardennes Forest area with a tremendous tank attack. They caught us sort of off guard. And the weather was so bad we couldn’t fly. So they were just massacring the infantry and ground troops. Finally, on New Year’s – I mean on Christmas Eve – the weather opened up and we put all of our bombers and fighters and other aircraft – combat aircraft – and just cleaned them out. They had to give up after that, but that period was the most memorable one because we had no opposition. They had concentrated all of their fuel into their tanks so the airplanes – their fighters couldn’t fly.
Q: I see.
A: So we went in at lower altitudes than usual and we could see our targets better and knocked out their critical supplies. And that was my most memorable period of combat.
Q: So how long did you serve during WWII?
A: Well, from September of ’42 to past the end of it. I – the war ended in September in Japan and I stayed on in until January. Then I got out and went back to school.
Q: After serving during WWII, then where did the military send you? Of course, you said you left for about a year, is that right?
A: Yes, I got out and went back to school for about a year.
Q: And then?
A: When I came back in I was assigned at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida.
Q: OK.
A: . . . Flying B-29s – bombers. And after being there three years then I went – they sent me away to school. Then I went back and was one of the first air force B-47 pilots for the last few years before I got out of the flying business.
Q: I see. And that was in the early 70s?
A: Well, no, that was in the early 50’s.
Q: Oh! OK, alright.
A: And then I got assigned to staff work in about 1958. I still flew, but not – I didn’t have a combat crew any longer - just proficiency flying.
Q: Just what?
A: Proficiency flying, yea.
Q: Ok. So what kind of a reception did you receive when you got back in the United States?
A: Wonderful! They had parades for us and if you went to church somewhere there would be people who invited you to come home and have Sunday dinner with them. It was just unbelievable, the support that you felt from the citizenry.
Q: In terms of your war experiences, how did those experiences affect, if at all, your relations and interactions with your family or your friends?
A: I – I really don’t think they affected it at all. I mean, I didn’t have any problem at all with being unable to sleep or cope with the situation. I think my upbringing and my faith helped me through a lot of those times and I just carried with me – I carried it with me when I got out. I didn’t have anything over my head.
Q: Yes! Did you still keep in touch with some of the people with whom you served?
A: Yes. We still – my organization that I was in the Eighth Air Force has a re-union every two years. The last one was last October in Houston, Texas. We go to different parts of the country. And, ah, although we are getting older and greyer, ah, it’s always great to get back together and reminisce. The war stories get a little bit better each year.
Q: Yes!
A: But it’s always a lot of fun. We still maintain a Christmas card list with all of those people. We hear from them every year and they hear from us.
Q: How has your WWII experience impacted your life? Did it affect any of your views of other wars the U.S. became involved in after WWII?
A: Well, it affected my attitude about the Vietnam War. That was more of a political war than it was a patriotic war, as far as I’m concerned. We had a lot of people making decisions in that war that were adverse to what a military-trained individual would have made. So. . .
Q: I see.
A: . . .I think it was very poorly handled. I sympathize with some of those people who were so affected mentally and psychologically from that war. I know it’s a heavy burden for them to carry, but it never did affect me personally, thank goodness.
Q: What kinds of general observations and conclusions do you have about WWII and your WWII experience?
A: I think it was a justified war, if there ever had been one, that was it. I was just looking back – I was just wondering why it took us so long to recognize that threat that Hitler, and Mussolini, and Japanese were developing. And we waited a long time to get in there and eradicate it, I guess. Of course, I was too young to be a part of the solution in those days, but I’ve thought about it many times since I’ve been an adult. Why did we let them get away with it? Especially Hitler – he – what he did to Germany. . .
Q: Yes.
A: It’s such a beautiful country and the Germans are such intelligent people. And how they could be completely befuddled by him, I just don’t understand. They are so smart. But he was – he must have been a tremendous motivator. But I’m glad we – we, ah – when I say “we” I’m talking about the United States people – could prevail in that situation.
Q: Yes. Do you have any additional comments or anything you would like to say?
A: One comment I will say. When I talk to young people nowadays, as sometimes I have an occasion to, I don’t hesitate to tell them the advantages of a military career – of serving their country and the educational advantages it provides and so forth, and what pride it gave me and that I like to see other people continue through those generations.

Rose State College Last modified on November 15, 2004 Please e-mail site comments to Alan Neitzel
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Chris, I am Janet Anderson, daughter of Lt. Albert M. Willoughby about whom you've inquired.  My dad replied to your post by e-mail on 8/11/07, but since he's having some computer problems I also wanted to respond from my computer and let you know that he retired from the Air Force at the rank of Colonel after 30+ years of service, and he and my mother (and my sister and I) reside in Midwest City, Oklahoma.  He and my Mom are in relatively good health for their age (84 and 82), and they and my sister and I plan to attend the 100th Bomb Group reunion in Nashville September 6-9, 2007.  He was so pleased to read your posting, and will be more than happy to visit with you and provide any information he can regarding his service and crew at Thorpe Abbots during WWII.  Are you perhaps a relative of someone on the crew?  I would ask that you please contact Dad using my e-mail address - jeasea@aol.com - to ensure that we receive your response.   Until just a few years ago he often shared his war experiences with students and other groups.  Thank you for your interest, and best regards. 

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Albert Willoughby   |   Visit Guest Book 
Dec. 4, 1922 - Oct. 17, 2011 MIDWEST CITY Albert ("Al") M. Willoughby, Jr., born December 4, 1922. Family and friends lost a much loved true American hero and member of The Greatest Generation on October 17, 2011. Albert M. Willoughby was born in Union Point, Georgia to A.M. Willoughby, Sr. and Maude Rutherford Willoughby. He grew up in Union Point and following high school graduation continued his education in Rabun Gap, Georgia and the University of Georgia. He was an outstanding athlete, excelling in baseball, basketball, and football. He immediately enlisted in the Army in 1941 following the attack on Pearl Harbor, and was accepted into the Army Air Corps Pilot Training Program. He was a B-17 bomber pilot based at Thorpe Abbott Air Base in England, and flew 35 missions over Germany. Following WWII he remained in the service and flew B-29, B-47, KC-l35, and C-47 aircraft over his 31-year career, retiring in 1973 at the rank of Colonel and residing in Midwest City, OK. He met the love of his life, Elaine Behr, in New York in 1945, and they were married on November 25, 1948. He is survived by his wife Elaine, daughter Janet Anderson, daughter Sherrie Sparger and son-in-law Joe, grandchildren Brandie Palmer and husband Jay, Stephanie Anderson, Steven Rizer, Kevin Rizer, and great-grandchildren Reid Palmer, Jayson Palmer, Peyton Mueller and his beloved little Terrier Nikki of 13 yrs. Following his retirement Al remained active in various military retiree and volunteer organizations, attended yearly 100th Bomb Group reunions, and until recently was a faithful member of the Midwest City Rotary Club. Al was the inspiration for the formation of the Oklahoma Honor Flights hub, which since 2009 has transported over 500 Oklahoma WWII veterans to see their memorials in Washington, D.C. The family wishes to thank Dr. Naveed Ahmed, Oklahoma Quality Life Hospice, and the caring staff at Wellington Parke Assisted Living Transitional Unit. Family will be recieving friends for formal visitation Wed., October 19, from 6-8 p.m., at Barnes and Friederich Funeral Home in Midwest City. Service will be Thursday, October 20, at 10:00 a.m. at Barnes and Friederich Funeral Home Chapel. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in Al's name to Oklahoma Honor Flights at www. oklahomahonorflights.com

 

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ID: 4575