Leroy M. Williamson WALTER WILLIAMS|
World War II
Memories and Biography
(Taken from a letter to Will Lundy)
February 2, 1987
It is strange that after 40+ years of hearing from practically nobody within the past few months, I have heard from about half a dozen people, such as Norris Crisan, Adobe Falb Rd., San Diego, California 92120, Grover Edmiston, N. Linwood Ave, Davenport, Iowa 52806, George Fithian, Chicago, Ill., George Guilford, Tallahassee, Fl, and James A. F. MacCammond, Jr., Darien, Conn.
These men were all members of the 68th Bomb Squadron, 44th Group. Crisan, Edmiston and myself being original members from the day it was formed at Barksdale Field in Shreveport in 1942 (February) as a matter of fact, at that time we were flying LB30s, B18s, etc. because the first 24s had not come out yet. The first submarine was sunk in the Gulf of Mexico by myself in April 1942.
Crisan, Edmiston, Guilford and I were the only original enlisted bombardiers in the USAF. (NOTE!)
I have heard from Paul Jones and he sent me a copy of the account that he sent to you. There is very little I can add to it, but I will do my bast.
IF it were not for Paul, I would not be here today. I had been shot in the head and although evidently conscious, I remember nothing. Paul put my chute on me (upside down) and then bailed out. I always figured I was still in the plane when it blew up and I was blown clear. I finally came to consciousness floating through the air and remember trying to open the chute - the ripcord was on the left side instead of the right and I had to practically tear the chute open with my fingers. John Nosal and I were captured in the same area and we never saw anyone else until the war was over at the Camp Lucky Strike in France. The last I knew of John, he was living in Omaha, Neb. Al Lyman was living in Mishoppen, PA, a very small farm village in Worthen, PA.
I have at home some original photos taken in 1942 (crew photos) at Barksdale and early pictures taken at the Shipdham base. If you can use them, and then return them, I'll send them to you.
Thank you for writing to me and especially for putting me in touch with Paul again. I recently (last November) lost my wife after a long period of illness. So I am still feeling some of the effects. Hope to hear from you soon.
I'm sure I know you. Weren't you in the original organization? I used to call on a dental supply store on No. "B" St. years ago. In San Bernardino.