Billy with friends and family

Who's Who

A guide to people prominently mentioned
in the Journal and letters
June. Billy's sweetheart, wife and widow. They were married April 13, 1945, in Brady, Texas, while he was in pilot training. You can see letters and postcards that Billy sent June. She is mentioned often in the Journal—in connection with a memorable dance at the San Jacinto Inn, in a telling expression of loneliness far from home, and in a poignant reflection on the dangers of combat. June


Una. Billy's mother, known as Mamaw to her many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, etc. She raised Billy, his sister Betty, and brother Arthur alone after the death of her husband, which occurred when the children were very young. She worked for Humble (which later became Exxon) as a receptionist (at least at the time Billy enlisted—see this write-up in the Humble Club Bulletin). She married Joe Nolen in April of 1944, an event Billy missed, but was happy about, as you can see from this letter. Una (Mamaw)


Shirley "Lard" Estes. A long-time friend of Billy's and June's. He served in the 111th Observation Squadron with Billy before the war, and during it was in England at the same time, as a B-17 bomber pilot. He and Billy got together at each other's base or in London whenever they could. You can see pictures of Lard that I believe Billy carried with him during the war here, as well as other information about him. Lard


Waley Garrett. Another old friend of Billy's who became a pilot after serving in the 111th Observation Squadron. Tragically, Waley was killed while still stateside in a flying accident. You can find out more about him here. Waley Garrett


C. W. "Mick" McKenna. A friend Billy made while in training at Avon Park, Florida. They flew over to England together and served in the same Bombardment Group most of the time they were there. Billy kept in contact with Mick after the war, and after Billy's death in 1960, June kept in touch with Mick and his wife Eleanor, who has been most helpful and encouraging to me in working on this project. Mick died in 2003. Mick


Frederick R. Partridge. Another friend from Avon Park who piloted the plane Billy flew over to England. The various names and nicknames he was known by caused me some difficulty in interpreting some passages in the Journal. I'm very pleased to have been contacted with some of his relatives who found the Journal on the internet. They gave me some information about him and his life after World War II. You can see this information here. Partridge


C.M. "Chuck" Enderton. Pilot for many of Billy's missions; on the first one of which they got lost. He is in the picture of Billy's crew here, and they flew together on D-Day. Enderton


J. R. "Mac" McAdam. Frequent bombardier crewmate of Billy's with the Bird Dog Special, including on the D-Day mission. McAdam


Robert Mims. A buddy of Billy's in England. Mims' plane was shot down on February 5, 1944, but he survived, although his friends didn't know it for months. To learn more about his story, and see a letter Mims wrote Billy from a German POW camp, click here. I am very pleased to have been able to talk with Mr. Mims recently. He remembers his wartime buddies fondly. Robert Mims


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