Gareth Lee's crew of the "Hell's Angels" 358th Bomber Squadron; 303rd Bomb Group; 2nd Air Division in the 8th Air Force.
Bud Townsend was a four-sport athlete at Napa High School, competing in football, basketball, baseball and track. He played on B football, basketball and track teams as a freshman and moved up to the varsity teams as a sophomore. He contributed to the success of track, baseball and basketball teams during his varsity career, but it was as a running back on the 1938, 1939 and 1940 football teams that Townsend really excelled. As a sophomore, he helped the 1938 team win an NBL title. In 1939, he was named the outstanding back on the team, and in 1940, he was Captain, outstanding back and All-North Bay League. In 1941 Townsend was awarded the All-American Blanket for outstanding leadership, scholarship and athletic ability. He was awarded a Blue Blanket for his fourth athletic letter. Townsend was offered two football scholarships after graduation and chose St. Mary's, where he was Captain and a standout halfback on the freshman team, and a running back on the varsity team as a sophomore, before joining the Air Force during World War II. In 1997 Bud was inducted into the Napa High School Athletic Hall of Fame as a member of the first group of alumni recognized by this organization.
Bud served as a First Lieutenant in the United States Army Air Force. He flew 34 missions over Europe as a Bombardier/Navigator. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with three clusters, and the Purple Heart. He was honorably discharged in 1945 after he was injured on a mission.
Units served with
The 303rd Bombardment Group (Heavy) was activated on 3-Feb-1942 at Pendleton Field, Oregon. They assembled at Gowen Field, Idaho on 11-February 1942 where it conducted flight training until 12-Jun-1942. The Group then moved to Alamogordo Field, New...
||Napa, Napa County, California, USA
||11 February 1925
||Petaluma, Sonoma County, California, USA
||28 July 2013