Skip to main content
Edit entry 

William James Daley Jr

Military

William Daley attempted to enlisted from Amarillo, Texas, in the Army Aviation Cadet programme but was rejected. He then went to the Clayton-Knight Committee, and having nearly 200 hours of flying time, was accepted for the RAF, where he graduated a a Pilot Officer on 27 June 1941.
On 9 July he arrived in Glasgow, Scotland, and was off to an Operational Training Unit. Upon completion of his training on 1 September he was assigned to No. 121 (Eagle) Squadron flying Hurricanes, soon transferring to Spitfires.He seldom encountered the Luftwaffe in their normal duties of convoy patrol and fighter sweeps. On 24 April, however, he shared in the destruction of a Junkers 52.
He soon downed an Fw-190, and on 27 May he sank a minesweeper and destroyed another Fw-190. In June he became acting Flight Lieutenant. On 29 September 1942, upon transfer to the USAAF, Major Daley became Commanding Officer of 335th Fighter Squadron. In late 1942 he returned to the States and subsequently was assigned as Deputy Commander of the Ninth Air Force, 371st Fighter-Bomber Group.
In September 1944, While taxiing [42-28426], he was rammed by an out of control P-47D [42-26294] and was gravely injured, dying the following day. He had eight air victories with the RAF and the 9th Air Force.
He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal with eight Oak Leaf Clusters, the Purple Heart with an Oak Leaf Cluster and the British Distinguished Flying Cross.

Service

Units served with

  • 8th Air Force

    8th Air Force


    Eighth Air Force Bomber Command became the Eighth Air Force on February 1944, it oversaw bombardment of strategic targets in Europe until 1945. ...

  • 9th Air Force
  • 335th Fighter Squadron

    335th Fighter Squadron

    Squadron
    The 335th Fighter Squadron was the offspring of No. 121 (Eagle) Squadron RAF. Formed on 21 May 1941, No. 121 was the second of the three Eagle Squadrons composed of American volunteers flying out of England. They were known as the "Chiefs" and were...

  • No. 121 'Eagle' Squadron

    No. 121 'Eagle' Squadron

    Squadron
    'On 14 May 1941, No. 121 was reformed at Kirton-in-Lindsey as the second 'Eagle' Squadron to be manned by American volunteers. Equipped with Hurricanes, it began defensive patrols in October but in November it converted to Spitfires. It moved to North...

  • Headquarters (371st Fighter Group)

Aircraft

  • AA841

    Spitfire
    Supermarine Spitfire AA841 Mk Vb, Const #2125 Built at Eastleigh. ...

  • BL986

    Spitfire
    Supermarine Spitfire BL986 Mk Vb, Built at Castle Bromwich Aircraft Factory. ...

  • EN853

    Spitfire
    Supermarine Spitfire EN853 Mk Vb, Built at Castle Bromwich Aircraft Factory. ...

  • 42-28426

    P-47 Thunderbolt
    P-47D 42-28426 Thunderbolt 406th FS, 371st FG, 9th AF, Taxiing out to runway and hit by out of control landing P-47D 42-26294. Pilot Major William J Daley gravely wounded in crash and died next day. 9 September 1944, at Voisins A-58.

  • 42-26294

    P-47 Thunderbolt
    Republic P-47D Thunderbolt 42-26294 404th FS, 371st FG, 9th AF USAAF. Crashed on landing and collided with P-47D 42-28426 pilot 2nd Lt William R Myles. Voisins A-58. 9-9-44.

  • R6890

    Spitfire
    Supermarine Spitfire R6890 Mk Ia Const #849, Built at Eastleigh. ...

  • AD139

    Spitfire
    Supermarine Spitfire AD139 Mk Vb, Built at Castle Bromwich Aircraft Factory. ...

Associated Place

  • Biggin Hill

    Military site : airfield
    An RAF Station with US lodger units. USAAF Spitfires and P-38s were attached to RAF No 11 Group stations in mid-1942 for training; also used for special operations by British and US forces.

  • Debden

    Military site : airfield
    RAF Debden, construction of which began in 1935, is perhaps most famous as a Battle of Britain fighter airfield, partly responsible for the defence of London in 1940. In 1942 it was also home to three RAF 'Eagle Squadrons’ of volunteer American pilots...

Events

Event Location Date
Born Hemphill, TX 75948, USA 30 November 1919

30 November 1919 Hemphill, Texas, USA.

Joined RAF United States 1941

Volunteered to join the Royal Air Force.

Pilot training Tulsa, OK, USA 1941

Learned to fly in the 3rd British Flying Training School at Miami, Oklahoma. Subsequently the Spartan College of Aeronautics at Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Graduated as Pilot Canada 27 June 1941

Received his pilot wings in Canada on 27 June 1941, granted a commission as a Pilot Officer (P/O) on probation in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve (RAFVR).

Arrived UK Glasgow, Glasgow City, UK 9 July 1941

9 July 1941 he arrived in Glasgow, Scotland.

Posted 56 OTU Sutton Bridge, Spalding, Lincolnshire PE12, UK 14 July 1941

Posted to 56 Operational Training Unit to finish his training at Sutton Bridge, Lincolnshire, England. 14 July 41.

Assigned Debden, Saffron Walden, Essex CB11, UK 1 September 1941 – 25 September 1942

Assigned to 121 [Eagle] Sqn RAF.

Transferred Debden, Saffron Walden, Essex CB11, UK 29 September 1942 – 11 November 1942

Transferred from 121 [Eagle]Sqn RAF to 335th FS 4th FG USAAF.

Transferred 15 July 1943 – 9 September 1944

Transferred to 406th FS, 371st FG, 9th AF. 15 July 1943.

Taxiing / Landing collision Voisins-le-Bretonneux, France 9 September 1944

While taxiing [42-28426], he was rammed by an out of control P-47D [42-26294] and was gravely injured, dying the following day

Died Voisins-le-Bretonneux, France 10 September 1944

Died of wounds from landing accident previous day.

Lived in Amarillo, TX, USA

Amarillo, Texas, USA.

Buried

Buried at the Epinal American Cemetery, France.

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
08 December 2019 04:58:22 Cobrahistorian Changes to highest rank
Sources

Photo of his P-47 has his name painted on it, "Pilot Lt. Col. J. Daley"

Date Contributor Update
16 November 2016 11:02:58 general ira snapsorter Changes to highest rank
Sources

Merged with duplicate entry to include details from:
- Ted Damick, VIII Fighter Command pilots list

Date Contributor Update
25 February 2016 12:01:52 Al_Skiff Changes to unit associations and place associations
Sources

https://371stfightergroup.wordpress.com/2014/03/25/371st-fighter-group-h...
http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/src/dbasn.asp?SN=42-28426&Submit4=Go
https://www.fold3.com/page/529853337_william_j%20daley,%20jr/details/

Date Contributor Update
21 October 2015 17:14:52 Al_Skiff Changes to middlename, highest rank, role and unit associations
Sources

AAM DB entry

Date Contributor Update
29 September 2015 16:07:49 Al_Skiff Changes to suffix, nickname, service number, biography, awards, events, unit associations and place associations
Sources

https://371stfightergroup.wordpress.com/2014/03/25/371st-fighter-group-h...
http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/src/dbasn.asp?SN=42-28426&Submit4=Go
https://www.fold3.com/page/529853337_william_j%20daley,%20jr/details/

Date Contributor Update
08 March 2015 16:08:57 apollo11 Changes to events
Sources

Personal research & 'Eighty-One Aces of the 4th Fighter Group' by Frank Speer.

Date Contributor Update
08 March 2015 16:06:20 apollo11 Changes to highest rank, biography, events and unit associations
Sources

Personal research & 'Eighty-One Aces of the 4th Fighter Group' by Frank Speer.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:28:16 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / Ted Damick, VIII Fighter Command pilots list / http://www.4thfightergroupassociation.org/pilots.html

Share