Waley's card

Waley Garrett

At left is an image of Waley's card, found in the announcement of his graduation from flying school (see below)

Waley was a good friend of Billy's, at least from high school days. Here is a picture of them, unfortunately undated (but they look very young):

Waley Garrett and Billy

They served in the 111th Observation Squadron of the Texas National Guard before the war. Waley wrote Billy a letter in April, 1941, in which he describes some of the doings of the unit, since by this date Billy had resigned from the Guard. For more information about this service, click here. Billy (or maybe June?) attended Waley's graduation from Advanced Flying School at Brooks Field in San Antonio, because we found a copy of the graduation program and a pass card indicating the bearer was a "guest of Lt. Waley H. Garrett" among papers in June's house after her death. Click here to see a PDF of this program. And here is the graduation announcement:

Graduation announcement
Graduation announcement

Billy's opinion of Waley was very high; he compares him to his good friend and fellow Marauder flier, "Mick" McKenna in a letter written to June in late 1944:

He [Mick] said he wished I could be there [at his wedding] because he would rather me be his best man than anyone he knows. I can't tell you how much it means to me to rate that high with Mick. That makes the second offer of that kind I've had in a year. You know I'm a very lucky fella. Most guys have one, maybe two pals that would go through Hell for them but me, I've got four and it used to be five when Waley was alive.

He also refers to Waley "verily flying the wings off his ship" in his Journal entry of March 13, 1942, and Waley gave him some advance information on what flying school entailed, according to the Journal entry of January 31 of that year. Unfortunately, Waley apparently was not able to fly in combat, as he was killed while still stateside.

The clipping at the right was found with Billy's papers, but unfortunately the date was not included with it. Through clues in the article and from Billy's letters, I had figured that it happened in late 1942. Then, after the first "edition" of the Journal was completed, we found the photograph on the left, at Betty's house. It was in a cardboard frame, and the note below was written on one of the sides. So we now have this date, November 18, 1942, which certainly was an important one for Billy, June, Betty, and all of their friends. Click here to see a larger image of the clipping.
Waley Garrett
Waley Garrett clipping


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