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William T Dooley Jr

Military

From Bill's son:

1st Lt. William T Dooley, Jr. of St Louis, Missouri was assigned to the 67th Reconnaissance Group of the 8th Air Force, and then when the group was moved to the 9th Air Force. He spoke of Middle Wallop, so was probably with the 109th Squadron.

The unit was moved to the LeMolay-Littry Airfield (also designated as Advanced Landing Ground A-9) at the end of June, 1944, between D+20 and D+24. That was one of the first airfields on the continent. Moving the squadrons to Normandy allowed them to provide same-day photos and interpretation to the nearby HQs of Bradley, Montgomery and later Eisenhower.

Trained in meteorology, my father’s role with the 109th was to perform interpretation of the photos the pilots brought back. A camera buff, he had his own with him all the time.

My father recounted that it was the Group which found the “tip of the German spear” when the weather cleared during the Battle of the Bulge, also that it had a role in the finding of the intact bridge over the Rhine at Remagen. He was at Buchenwald two days after his liberation of the camp; some of his photos are almost identical to those in the museum there.

He took the pictures of Churchill and Eisenhower during Churchill’s visit August 7, 1944. (Eisenhower formally moved his HQ from England to LeMolay-Littry that day or the next.)

The photos of the Eisenhower-Bradley “council of war” were taken at about the same time.

By the end of October 1944 the airfield had been abandoned. It’s now once again a farmer’s field. When my parents visited in 1994, my father discovered that Eisenhower’s HQ tents were only about 150 yards from his own tent. Security at the time was such that he didn’t know. He didn’t need to.

Lt. Dooley mustered out in 1945, returned to St. Louis and worked in the family business, the Lewis Howe Company, makers of TUMS.

Service

Units served with

  • 67th Tactical Reconnaissance Group

    67th Tactical Reconnaissance Group

    Group
    The four Squadrons of the 67th Recon Group (12th Observation - later Reconnaissance Squadron; 107th Observation - later Reconnaissance Squadron; 109th Observation - later Reconnaissance Squadron and 153rd Observation - later Reconnaissance Squadron)...

  • 109th Reconnaissance Squadron

Associated Place

  • Middle Wallop

    Military site : airfield
    Planned as an RAF bomber station with a grass airfield, concrete perimeter track and hardstandings, Middle Wallop opened as a training base in April 1940, before construction was complete. Used as an RAF day-fighter and night-fighter base during 1940...

Events

Event Location Date
Born St. Louis, MO, USA 1921
Enlisted Boca Raton, FL, USA 10 February 1943

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
08 February 2016 11:30:31 Lucy May Changes to service number, role and events
Sources

NARA enlistment record: https://aad.archives.gov/aad/record-detail.jsp?dt=893&mtch=4&tf=F&q=dool...

Date Contributor Update
08 February 2016 11:27:43 Lucy May Created entry with surname, middlename, firstname, suffix, nickname, nationality, highest rank, biography, unit associations and place associations
Sources

Correspondence with Bill Dooley's son, Bill.

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