William Gillette Horney Jr

Military
media-7526.jpeg UPL 7526 William G. Horney- Navigator on Dougherty Crew # 612- Aircraft "Dirty Gertie"- Attlebridge May, 1944-October, 1944

William G Horney served as a navigator on a B-24 with the 466th Bomb Group, 786th Squadron, Dougherty Crew from May-October, 1944, flew 32 combat missions and was awarded the DFC and Air Medal. He died on August 22, 2013 in Pensacola, Florida

Bill Curtis (son-in-law) 2015

Object Number - UPL 7526 - William G. Horney- Navigator on Dougherty Crew # 612- Aircraft "Dirty Gertie"- Attlebridge May, 1944-October, 1944

William Horney Jr, "Bill", as he was called by family and friends, grew up in small towns in New Jersey. He graduated from high school in Vineland and then attended college at Rutgers University for a year. He needed to work for a living for a while, so he was employed in the office of a glass company in Vineland. Soon thereafter, Pearl Harbor was attacked by the Japanese and World War II was a reality for Americans. Bill decided to enlist in the Army Air Corps and was trained as a navigator for a bomber crew. His crew was sent to England to fly B-24 bombers in the 8th Air Force and was assigned to the 466th Bomb Group / 786th Bomb Squadron in Attlebridge, arriving there in May 1944. They flew 33 missions over Germany and occupied Europe, completing their tour near the end of October 1944. Shortly after returning to the States, Bill married his fiancée, Jane Trimnell. He then was assigned to air bases in the western states to train in B-29 bombers to fly combat missions in the Pacific. The war ended before he was assigned to duty and he decided to remain in the Air Corps, flying missions on the Berlin Airlift and serving in the Korean War. After 10 years of flying, the rank of Captain and some very difficult assignments, he found he was ready to leave the military and return to civilian life. Fortunately, he was able to get a job with the same company he had worked for before the war began. He was welcomed back by familiar employees, and after several transfers was sent to the headquarters of Owens-Illinois Glass Company in Toledo, Ohio. After 20 years in various positions in the company, he became Vice President, Director of Personnel. During this time he was attending college night classes for seven years, until he completed the courses for his bachelor's degree in business, graduating from the University of Toledo. Bill took early retirement at 58 and he and Jane moved to Hilton Head, South Carolina to a warmer climate and to play golf, which he really enjoyed. After 9 years there they decided to come to Pensacola to live at Azalea Trace. Bill passed away in August 2013 a couple of weeks short of his 92nd Birthday.

Here is his account of the 12 July 1944 mission to Munich, Germany :

"My mission #10, Munich, 12 July 44, lost 1 engine to flak, 2nd engine damaged. Pilot asked to keep directions to Switzerland as alternate. Will try to make base, lost altitude and space as formation continued. Now alone. Set course for base, steared pilot around flak areas, finally asked for fighter escort. Surprising, a P-38 appeared and tucked under right wing. He was also missing 1 engine/ Who is protecting Who? Made coast, P-38 peeled off, we struggled into base. 6 months later, having finished 32 missions, I married Jane Elizabeth Trimmell, Birthday 7/12/25, We are still married 63 years later. I always think of July 12th!"

Connections

See how this entry relates to other items in the archive by exploring the connections below.

Units served with

Three little girls hold up a balloon celebrating the 100th mission of the 466th Bomb Group in front of a B-24 Liberator (serial number 42-95592) nicknamed "Black Cat". Handwritten caption on reverse: 'On our 100 Mission party Day- 18 Aug 1944, Attlebridge, 466th- wouldn't it be something if we could identify these girls? How could I do it?'
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment

People

  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 466th Bomb Group 786th Bomb Squadron
  • Highest Rank: Technical Sergeant (2nd Grade)
  • Role/Job: Radio Operator
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 466th Bomb Group
  • Highest Rank: Technical Sergeant (2nd Grade)
  • Role/Job: Flight Engineer
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 466th Bomb Group 786th Bomb Squadron
  • Highest Rank: First Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Pilot
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 446th Bomb Group 786th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 33670531
  • Highest Rank: Technician Third Grade
  • Role/Job: Tail Gunner
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 466th Bomb Group 786th Bomb Squadron
  • Highest Rank: Staff Sergeant (3rd Grade)
  • Role/Job: waist gunner

Aircraft

  • Aircraft Type: B-24 Liberator
  • Nicknames: Dirty Gertie
  • Unit: 466th Bomb Group 786th Bomb Squadron

Missions

Places

Aerial photograph of Attlebridge airfield, looking north, the fuel store and a T2 hangar are in the upper centre, 31 January 1946. Photograph taken by No. 90 Squadron, sortie number RAF/3G/TUD/UK/51. English Heritage (RAF Photography).
  • Site type: Airfield
  • Known as: Attlebridge Arsenal, Station 120

Related videos and documents

  • Media Type: Video
  • Object Number: UPL 16613
  • Description: Interview with William Horney and Jerre Williams
  • Media Type: Video
  • Object Number: UPL 26961
  • Description: Interview conducted on October 21, 2000 at the 8th Air Force Historical Society Reunion, in Salt Lake City, Utah. Participants included the crew...

Events

Event Location Date Description

Born

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 12 September 1921 the son of William G. and Marion (Glass) Horney

Enlisted

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States 14 May 1942 as a Private in the Air Corps

Died

Pensacola, Florida, United States 22 August 2013
Vineland, NJ, USA Delsor Drive & Almond Road

Buried/ Commemorated

Barrancas National Cemetery, Pensacola, Florida, United States

Revisions

Date
ContributorED-BB
Changes
Sources

NARA WWII Enlistment records
Link to B-24 # 41-29366 and to fellow crew members
Obituary (Harper Morris Memorial Chapel)
Article by his daughter Martha in "8th AF News" (8th Air Force Historical Society) - March 2016

Date
Contributor466thHistorian
Changes
Sources

466th BG Archives

Date
ContributorAAM
Changes
Sources

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / Mighty Eighth Air Force Heritage Museum Membership List, July 2000

William Gillette Horney: Gallery (5 items)