Official Orders and Other Documents


The jaunty picture at the left was undated but found in a folder marked "San Angelo,"
so we can presume it was taken during Billy's pilot training stint there in late 1945

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  • The links below will display PDF files of Army orders and other forms which Billy kept from his wartime service. The convoluted, acronym-loaded wording of the orders is not always easy to decipher, but these documents can be used to construct an accurate, or at least an official, diary of Billy's comings and goings, as well as his promotions, decorations, and other officially recognized actions. (It also proves the truth of the adage that paperwork is the lifeblood of the Army.) Links to the orders in this index are arranged chronologically, with the major points of each order noted.

    19421943194419451946 Service records and other forms

    Display map showing Billy's travels in the U.S.

    1942 Orders and other documents

    July 1, Ellington Field: "transfer of navigators and bombardiers," including Billy, to Kelly Field in San Antonio's "Advanced Flying School" October 17, Hondo: "Record of Proficiency" in the courses taken at Navigation School (in essence, a report card)
    October 6 Randolph Field: Billy is rated an "Aircraft Observer" and "required to participate in regular and frequent aerial flights"
    (we also have a copy of the full list of Observers)
    October 27, Avon Park, Fla.: official "attachment" of Billy to the Bombing and Gunnery Range at Avon Park (his name is on page 2)
    October 16, Hondo: notifies Billy of his assignment to Avon Park, Florida, having successfully completed his navigation training October 28, Avon Park: transfer to Ft. Myers, Florida
    October 16: official discharge certificate ending Billy's days as an Aviation Cadet, a necessary step prior to receiving a commission as an officer Inventory of Navigator's kit: lists items contained in the "Kit, Navigation, Celestial" that Billy must have had with him at Avon Park
    October 17, Randolph Field: letter of commission as a 2nd Lieutenant Location of Principle Cities and Airports in the Southeastern U.S.: another useful list for a navigator at Avon Park
    October 17: pay allotment forms Location of Principle Radio Beam Stations in Southeastern U.S., Frequency and Call Letters: another useful item

    1943 Orders and other documents

    January 6: pay allotment form July 9, Avon Park: termination of quarters privileges at Avon Park
    January 6, Avon Park: authorization of quarters effective Dec. 12, at Avon Park (Billy's name is on page 2) July 9, Avon Park: authorization of Billy and his crew to go to Savannah, Georgia, to pick up their plane and to fly it up to Presque Isle, Maine and report for embarkation to their "Overseas Destination" (Billy's crew is on page 2; page 5 includes some general information for the men about to go overseas, such as notification of a $6 per diem while they are traveling)
    April 12, Avon Park: grant of a 12-day leave (in a letter to June dated April 24 he says he is returning from an "odyssey of travel"); this is the first crew listing we see with some familiar names—Partridge, McKenna, Becker October 13, Headquarters, 8th Air Support Command: record of the awarding of Billy's Air Medal; see more about this in the glossary
    April 29, Avon Park: transfer of Billy and his crew to the 478th Squadron for "second phase training." November 13, Headquarters, 9th Air Force: official record of Billy's promotion from 2nd to 1st Lieutenant
    November 27, Headquarters, 9th Bomber Command, and also December 16, 1943 and January 7, 1944: records of the awarding of Oak Leaf Clusters for Billy's Air Medal; these three records do not mention which number Oak Leaf Cluster they are awarding, as do some of the subsequent documents (see below), so we can only presume that they are for his first, second and third Clusters. For more information on this decoration, see the glossary.

    1944 Orders and other documents

    February 7, Headquarters, Station 358 (this is Earls Colne, England): clearance form required before leaving the 323rd Bombardment Group September 28, Headquarters, 9th Bombardment Division: record of the awarding of Billy's second silver Oak Leaf Cluster, given in lieu of a 10th bronze Cluster (we do not have a record of the first silver Cluster being awarded, I suppose, in place of a 5th bronze Cluster)
    March 23, Headquarters, 9th Bomber Command: release of Billy and his crew from the 391st Group and their re-assignment to the 323rd; their names are on the 3rd page (for some reason Billy had both his and Captain Enderton's copies of these orders!—the 5th page of the PDF file shows Enderton's top page) October 6, Headquarters, 9th Bombardment Division: record of the awarding of Billy's 11th Oak Leaf Cluster, the last one for which we have a record
    March 29, Headquarters, 9th Bomber Command: an additional assignment of Billy and his crew (on page 3) to the 455th Squadron, in which the 323rd Group resides
    July 10, Headquarters, 9th Bomber Command: record of the awarding of Billy's 6th Oak Leaf Cluster; the awarding of the 7th Cluster was also dated July 10 October 23, Presque Isle, Maine: returning to the base from which he left the U.S. in July of 1943 (see the Crossing section of the Journal) Billy is ordered to report to Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio by October 26
    July 31, Headquarters, 9th Bomber Command: record of the awarding of Billy's 8th Oak Leaf Cluster; the awarding of the 9th Cluster was also dated July 31 October 27, Ft. Sam Houston: orders for Billy to report to the "AAF Redistribution Station #2, at the Cadillac Hotel in Miami Beach, Florida, for processing and reassignment"
    August 19, Headquarters, 9th Air Force: official record of Billy's promotion to Captain; the complete listing of promotions in which his is included is a November 10, AAF Personnel Distribution Command: orders for Billy to report to Santa Ana, California by December 3 for "processing and reassignment"
    September 23, Headquarters, 9th Bomber Command: orders for Billy to report to the "Casual Pool, 12th Replacement Control Depot," (which was in the town of Chorley, in Lancashire, England) "on or about September 28 to await transportation to the Zone of the Interior" (which means the U.S.) December 11 and December 30, Santa Ana, Calif.: two different "assignment recommendation forms," the first noting that Billy has applied for pilot training and the second giving a surgeon's clearance that he is "physically qualified for pilot training"

    1945 Orders and other documents

    January 3, Santa Ana, Calif.: orders for Billy to report to Ellington Field on January 6 June 14: an affidavit asserting that Billy has credit for three Battle Stars; for more information on this decoration see the glossary
    January 6, Ellington Field: authorization for Billy to report here from Santa Ana August 4, Mission: orders assigning Billy to Pampa Field in Pampa, Texas on August 6 for "Advanced Two-Engine Pilot Training"
    January 11, Ellington Field: assignment of quarters for Billy at Ellington August 6, Pampa: orders attaching Billy to Pampa
    February 16, Ellington Field: orders for Billy to report to the San Antonio Aviation Cadet Center by February 19 "for examination to determine fitness for pilot training" September 13, Pampa, Texas: orders assigning Billy to Enid, Oklahoma, for "completion of Advanced 2-E training"
    March 9, San Antonio: orders for Billy to report to the 2548th Base Unit, Curtis Field, Brady, Texas "for entry into Primary Pilot Training" March 13 October 1, Enid, Oklahoma: Billy gets his pilot rating
    March 10, San Antonio: clearance form and termination of housing authorization in San Antonio October 16, Enid: this seems to me to be a simple confirmation of the fact that the men listed, including Billy, reported for duty as ordered on Sept. 14.
    April 26, Brady, Texas: carbon of a request to the Commander of the 323rd Bombardment Group for confirmation of Billy's decorations; the response is typed at the bottom of the letter
    Note that beginning with this order, June was also affected by them, since they were married on April 13, and she was with him on almost all of his moves from base to base during this year. See links to some documents reflecting Billy's change in status from single to married below.
    October 17: another somewhat superfluous document awarding "Capt. William David Lewis" the rank of 1st Lt. in the Air Corps Reserve, unless "now serving under a commission of an equivalent or will continue to serve under that commission"
    May 17, Brady: carbon of a request to the Commander of the 323rd Bombardment Group for a copy of orders indicating Billy's promotions while in Europe; the response typed at the bottom of the letter indicates copies were attached (PDF's of the orders are linked up in the order of the original dates of issue); apparently there was not enough paper on file for Billy at Brady! October 17, Enid: orders for Billy to report to San Angelo for further training on November 3
    May 20, Brady: orders for Billy to report to Moore Field, in Mission, Texas, for a "further course of instruction,"; the order confirms that he had completed "primary pilot training at this station" November 13, San Angelo, Texas: orders for Billy to report to Louisville, Kentucky, on November 20 for "on the job training" prior to reporting to Camp Shelby, Mississippi, for duty as a "Separation Liaison Officer"
    May 25, Mission, Texas: acceptance for "basic pilot training" at Moore Field November 27, Louisville, Kentucky: orders for Billy to report to Camp Shelby; Billy seemed to think this bit of extra traveling was not necessary, as you can tell in this letter to June, who did not accompany him to Kentucky but apparently stayed in Houston with her parents.

    There is only one order that we found from 1946—this one dated May 2 putting Billy on inactive status. It also granted him 66 days of leave, sufficient time for him and June to move to Alpine, Texas, where he attended summer school at Sul Ross State Teachers College before returning to A&M in the fall. June worked in the Registrar's Offices at both schools, helping with the huge amounts of paperwork accompanying the men returning to college on the GI Bill.

    Service Records and other Forms

    Officer's Qualification Record. This massive form gives many dates and much other information about Billy's wartime service. The latest entry is dated April of 1946. We found two copies of this form—one on rather flimsy yellow carbon paper and the other, from which I made this PDF file, was an early photocopy. Medical records. This is a set of three copies of a medical form entitled "Physical Examination for Flying." One was filled out in December of 1944 in California; one in March of 1945 in San Antonio; and one in August of 1945 in Pampa, Texas. I would say he was thoroughly checked out!
    Statement of Personal History. This form, dated in February of 1952, covers Billy's education (even back to grade school) in much detail, as well as his employment record, both in and out of the military. I assume, due to the date of this form, that it was filled out in connection with Billy's re-enlistment during the Korean War. Immunization Record. More redundancy. We found four copies of each of these different record cards, with a few minor differences. This PDF document consists of three pages: the first two pages contain images of the four forms, and the third page is an image of their reverse, with instructions for their retention and disposition.
    Statement of Service. This document, one of the first we found in going through June's papers, gives only dates of major official actions such as enlistments, discharges and promotions; it is the complete record, up to and including Billy's death, while on active duty, in 1960. Pilot's Flight Log. Pages from a book keeping a record of Billy's training flights from March, 1945, through November, 1946. The pages were scanned in pairs, which went together as a record of the flights on the dates given. (This is the title page of the book.)
    Getting married, of course, also involved paperwork and we found three forms which reflected these changes. First is Billy's "AAF Personal Affairs Statement," a revised version of which, dated November 13, 1945, shows beneficiary changes from Una to June, as well as other legal information. In addition, there was a separate "Change of Beneficiary" form.


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