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Billy Theo Davis

Military

Born Dec 1920 in KY. Both his parents died before he reached the age of 4. He was raised by his grandparents. He enlisted in the Army (infantry) in the late 1930's and spent time working with the CCC. He worked at the Lake Washington Shipyard (Seattle, WA) shortly before enlisting in the Army Air Corps. He flew 17 of his 25 combat missions with Lt/Captain Joseph Kane as his pilot or copilot. Billy flew on the 14 Oct 1943 Schweinfurt II mission with Lt/Captain Joseph Kane. He reenlisted and was still serving when the AAF became the USAF. Post war he qualified as a remote control gunner for service on B-29. Army Service Number 39179671. Post war he lived in Duncan, Oklahoma.

Service

Units served with

  • 305th Bomb Group Can Do

    305th Bomb Group Can Do

    Group
    The 305th Bombardment Group (Heavy), nicknamed "Can Do" was activated 1-March-1942 at Salt Lake City Air Base, Utah which was their primary training base until 11-Jun-1942 when they relocated to Geiger Field, Washington until 29-Jun-1942, then on to...

  • 365th Bomb Squadron

Aircraft

  • 41-24529

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Assigned 422BS/305BG [JJ-T] Syracuse 14/9/42; Grafton Underwood 25/10/42; transferred 546BS/384BG Grafton Underwood [BK-J] 22/9/43; on engine check mission 9/10/43, overshot runway and into a ditch, undercarriage collapsing & blocking nearby road, with...

  • 41-24586 'WHAM BAM'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Assigned 365BS/305BG [XK-U/A] Presque Is 19/10/42; Grafton Underwood 26/10/42; 1 Base Air Depot, Burtonwood 20/3/44; Returned to the USA Robins 1/8/44; Recl Comp 30/8/45. WHAM BAM.

  • 42-29506 Full Boost!

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 28/12/42; Salina 9/1/43; Morrison 12/2/43; Homestead 18/2/43; Assigned 365BS/305BG [XK-V] Chelveston 2/3/43 YE WHITE SWAN; transferred 532BS/381BG [VE-A] Ridgewell 22/8/43; Missing in Action Leverkusen 1/12/43 with Jason Duncan,...

  • 42-29557 Yankee Gal

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 4/1/43; Salina 12/1/43; Homestead 1/2/43; Morrison 9/2/43; Assigned 366BS/305BG [KY-O] Chelveston 10/2/43; transferred 547BS/384BG [SO-S] Grafton Underwood 20/9/43; battle damaged Munster 10/10/43, with Bill Kopf, Co-pilot: Alf Scott,...

  • 42-29870 Big Moose

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 28/2/43; Casper 13/3/43; Metropolitan 13/4/43; Presque Is 30/4/43; Dow Fd 1/5/43; Assigned 379BG Kimbolton 2/5/43; transferred 365BS/305BG [XK-T/H] Chelveston 23/6/43; 545BS/384BG [JD-U] Grafton Underwood 29/9/43; Missing in Action...

  • 42-30018 OLD COFFINS

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 1/4/43; Pueblo 8/4/43; Smoky Hill 6/5/43; Dow Fd 19/5/43; Assigned 423BS/381BG [VE-L] Ridgewell 24/5/43 with Capt Joe Alexander, Co-pilot: Bill Crowley, Navigator: Jack Wemmer, Bombardier: Jim Nance, Flight engineer/top turret gunner...

  • 42-30034 "NOBODY'S BABY"

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 2/4/43; Pueblo 12/4/43; Smoky Hill 6/5/43; Presque Is 17/5/43; Assigned 532BS/381BG [VE-K] Ridgewell 19/5/43 NOBODY'S BABY (taken by CO Col Leber to UK as no pilot wanted it !) with Lt Col Joe Nazzaro `Gp CO`, Major Conway Hall `HQ`,...

  • 42-30375 Yo-Yo --- Miss Donna Mae

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 24/5/43; Gore 25/5/43; Kearney 5/6/43; Dalhart 27/6/43; Gr Isle 26/7/43; with Gordon Crozier force landed Geiger 29/7/43; Patterson 8/8/43; Gr Isle 11/8/43; Presque Is 16/8/43; Assigned 365BS/305BG [XK-B] Chelveston 3/9/43;...

  • 42-30645

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 3/7/43; Kearney 24/7/43; Dow Fd 28/7/43; Assigned 364BS/305BG [WF-E] Chelveston 22/8/43; Missing in Action Bremen 26/11/43 with Bob Jackman, Co-pilot: Henry Thayer, Navigator: Jesse Seeley, Bombardier: Bob Tank, Radio Operator:...

  • 42-3412

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Dallas 15/6/43; Presque Is 17/8/43; Assigned 365BS/305BG [XK-M] Chelveston 20/8/43; Missing in Action Bremen 20/12/43 with Bill Nordyke, Co-pilot: Ed Phillips, Navigator: Chas Maynard body found in Frischenmoor swamp near Oldenburg, chute...

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Missions

  • VIII Bomber Command 82

    15 August 1943
    German airfields in Holland and France are the targets for this mission. All of the attacks were made late in the afternoon just prior to sunset. The mission is composed of two elements. The first element is a combined force of 180 B-17s from: 91BG (20...

  • VIII Bomber Command 83

    16 August 1943
    This mission consists of two elements of B-17s despatched to bomb the German airfields of Le Bourget (Paris), Poix and Abbeville, France. The first element is a combined force of 180 B-17s from: 91BG (21); 92BG (17); 303BG (20); 305BG (20); 306BG (20);...

  • VIII Bomber Command 84

    17 August 1943
    The mission flown on 17-Aug-43, the 1st anniversary of the 1st mission flown by the 8th Air Force, is probably the most written about mission of the war. This is the famous Schweinfurt/Regensburg mission on which 60 B-17s are lost. It has been dubbed ...

  • VIII Bomber Command 86

    24 August 1943
    The 8th Air Force is intent on dishing out some "pay back" to the Luftwaffe for the toll it took on bombers of the 17-Aug-43 mission to Schweinfurt/Regensburg. So, This mission has three attack elements and a diversion element. The attack elements are...

  • VIII Bomber Command 87

    27 August 1943
    This mission is the first attack by the USAAF on suspected V-Weapon sites. The German development of pilotless winged aircraft was first divulged to the British just shortly after the beginning of World War II in two letters sent to the British embassy...

  • VIII Bomber Command 88

    31 August 1943
    This mission is composed of two elements. The first element is composed of 170 B-17s from: 91BG (16); 92BG (19); 303BG (20); 305BG (18); 306BG (18); 351BG (21); 379BG (21); 381BG (19); and 384BG (18). The primary target for this element is German...

  • VIII Bomber Command 90

    3 September 1943
    German airfields in France and the Caudron-Renault works at Paris are the targets for this mission. The mission is composed of three elements. The first element is a combined force of 168 B-17s from: 91BG (14); 351BG (19); 381BG (22); 92BG (19); 305BG ...

  • VIII Bomber Command 91

    6 September 1943
    This mission was planned as massive attack of 338 B-17s on the industrial areas of Stuttgart, Germany and would be supported by a formation of 69 B-24s flying a diversion. This would be the first action from the UK for the B-24 Groups that had recently...

  • VIII Bomber Command 92

    7 September 1943
    Two German airfields, one at Brussels, Begium and the other at Bergen, Holland, and the V-Weapons sites around Watten, France are the primary targets for this mission. ...

  • VIII Bomber Command 94 OPERATION STARKEY

    9 September 1943
    This mission has been named OPERATION STARKEY. It is planned as a coordinated attack of multiple bomber elements upon multiple targets and incorporates fighter escort as a rehearsal of what may be required to support an invasion of the Continent. It is...

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Associated Place

  • Chelveston

    Military site : airfield
    Chelveston was adapted and expanded in preparation for the arrival of American forces. Rather than heavy bombers, the first aircraft to fly from its runways were C-47 Skytrains that were flown by the 60th Troop Carrier Group in July 1942. The first...

Events

Event Location Date

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
28 April 2021 21:28:30 jmoore43 Changes to biography
Sources

Corrected a typo in the "Summary biography" - “infantry” was misspelled.

Date Contributor Update
28 April 2021 21:26:53 jmoore43 Changes to biography
Sources

Added punctuation to the "Summary biography" to aid clarity.

Date Contributor Update
27 March 2021 03:23:23 john johnson Changes to service number, highest rank, role, biography and mission associations
Sources

polishing up detail s for readability.
Used Chris Cofferman's database to identify the missions Bill flew.

Date Contributor Update
27 March 2021 02:48:58 john johnson Changes to firstname and suffix
Sources

just polishing up details

Date Contributor Update
26 March 2021 20:24:56 john johnson Created entry with surname, middlename, firstname, suffix, nationality, biography, unit associations, place associations and aircraft associations
Sources

Mission aircraft tail numbers and pilot names obtained from Chris Cofferman's database.
HIs DD-214, WD AGO form 20, AAC awards and decorations authorizations listing obtained from the National Personal Records Center, St Louis, MO .
Conversations with his daughter, Linda.

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