Willis R. Walling

WILLIS R. WALLING, (WALLY) born August 6, 1921 in Newark, New Jersey, graduated Nutley High School and Newark Preparatory School. He started his business career in the pipe and tube bending field. After Pearl Harbor, he enlisted in the Army Air Force, taking his training in the southeast area, graduating and commissioned in the Class of 1943E. His first assignment was to Camp Springs, Maryland — now known as Andrews Air Force Base. From there his OTU group, the 371st, went to Richmond, Virginia and then abroad to Ringwood, England to establish an air base from which they flew their beginning operations.

After introductory missions, he flew with the 8th Air Force as fighter escort and then as a dive bomber in P-47's in the 9th Air Force. On return to the States, he was assigned to the Yuma Army Air Base, Arizona as a flying officer with secondary responsibilities as School Secretary and then Director of Personnel.

While overseas Walling flew 67 missions starting from southern England, then to France and into Germany — Metz, Nancy, Dole. He was awarded the Air Medal with four clusters. He left France to organize his own squadron at Shrewsbury, England. A change in policy eliminated the need for new squadrons and he was returned to the States for redistribution.

Released from active duty in October 1945 as a Captain in the Reserve, he served under a mobilization assignment at Mitchell Field. In June of 1950 he was recalled to Mitchell to active duty for a short stint during the Korean War. He returned to the business world in sales and administration, starting his own company, Swan Manufacturing Corporation, as distributors and fabricators of Tubular Products in 1960 and as President still runs the company as a now wholly-owned subsidiary of Allegheny-Ludlum Industries.

Wally married his high school sweetheart, Peggy, in 1943 at Andrews Air Force Base Chapel and they have three married daughters and eight grandchildren.

An early, and now life member of the P-47 Jug Pilots Association, he has maintained an interest in flying. Other interests are as a member of the Board of Directors of the Morris County Rehabilitation Center for Crippled Children and Adults and served four years as the County Chairman of the Morris County Republican Committee both in New Jersey. Golf, tennis and numismatics take up any available time left.

History -- Many happenings come to mind of service adventures but the two best are when Waggy (Captain Wagner of 404th Squadron) and I returned from Infantry service at Cherbourg with 19 cases of "Jerry" booze only to have to run for briefing and take-off. On return we found the booze divided with our share for our troubles in the Sub Tunnel (still in evidence) now at 5 bottles and NO champagne. (Remember where we found the last champagne, Waggy?)

Willis R. Walling with his first and second love. The other was as a result of visiting St. Mere Eglise in September 1979 to find, visit and enjoy a day with Yvette Hammil, the girl we adopted at La Londe farm -- our air base -- when she was so badly wounded. She is well, married and has a daughter, Martine, in college. We spent the entire day, including a 30 mile drive for lunch and visit with Mar-tine. On return to St. Mere Eglise a museum was found dedicated to the 82 nd Airborne and the one and only 371st fighter group. Memories come back strong in those surroundings, and remain while rough, very real.

List of all P47 Pilots:
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Pilot Name Biography Summary
John Abbotts P-47 transition followed at Pocatello, Idaho and Greenville, Texas after which he was assigned to the 56th Fighter Group in England. When the news of his arrival reached Berlin, Hitler retired to his bunker with his cyanide capsule and revolver. Eva found the news equally depressing.
Asa A. Adair He returned to the States in August of 1944 after participating in the invasion "D" Day. He flew P-63's, P-51's, F-80's, T-33's, F-84's, T-38's, P-47's in numerous assignments during the following twenty years in in, Japan, U.S.A. and Europe before retiring after twenty-six years of Active Duty.
Edward B. Addison The 507th Fighter Group, equipped with P-47N's, won the Presidential Unit Citation for destroying 32 Japanese aircraft in the air on one mission to Seoul, Korea. The average flying time for raids to Korea and Japan would be 7 to 9 hours flying time. In a total of 31 months, the 507th not only provided top cover for B-29's, but also dive-bombed, napalm-bombed and flew low-level on strafing missions.
Levon B. Agha-Zarian It is rumored that he, took his primary training on a flying rug. He flew Spits, briefly, in England, but as the, war moved to the East, he was sent to India as a Sgt. Pilot and first saw action from Ceylon, flying the Curtiss P.36, the Brewster Buffalo, and the Hurricane. At this point he might have opted for the rug! This was at the time of the fall of Singapore and the sinking of the Prince of Wales and the Repulse.
George N. Ahles Posted to A-20 light bomber squadron Barksdale Field, Louisiana. . Group moved to Hunter Air Base Savannah, Georgia. Qualified for Pilot training November 1940. Entered Aviation Cadets January 1942. Presented wings November 1942 class of 42-J. Married Mary Louise while in Advanced Pilot Training at Craig AFB, Selma, Alabama, September 1942.
Roy J. Aldritt Shortly after the group moved to France he ran into some unseen flak and was forced to make a nylon descent behind the lines; some evasion and a lot of luck had him back with his unit in 24 hours.
Eugene J. Amaral After graduation from Stonington High School he enlisted as an Aviation Cadet in December 1942 and was called to active duty in March, 1943. He received his wings and commission at Spence Field, Georgia as a member of the Class of 43-C.
Talmadge L. Ambrose Flew 84 missions thru VE Day, was downed by 22mm ground fire over Siefried Line. He destroyed 11 enemy aircraft, 9 known confirmed in air and on ground, including 4 FW 190-D's in one afternoon over Hanover, Germany, April 8, 1945. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal, 17 man, Oak Leaf Clusters, Good Conduct Medal, Pacific Theatre and European Theatre Meda1s with 5 Battle Stars and Unit Citation Medal.
John C. Anderson After P-47 transition he was assigned to the 406th Fighter Group, 512th Fighter Squadron. (E.T .0.) He flew 56 missions through January, 1945 destroying supply routes, bridges, and railroads; he also flew close support missions with the ground forces, with attacks on tanks, artillery and enemy positions.
William Anderson It was not always flak,two ME-109's beat the hell out of me one day. The central controller called me and said "Basher-Red Leader do you have contact Bandits," I replied, "I sure do, I'll bring them over the field in 3 minutes, they're chasing me home." Got all the usual medals including two Belgium and two French but one I'm most proud of is the Silver Star -it is the greatest.
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