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Col. Durwood B. Williams- 333rd Fighter Squadron, 318thFighter Group, 7th Fighter Command, 7th Air Force
P-47 Pilot - 3 Confirmed Kills
46 missions, 326 combat hours

The wings above cover Col. Williams career in the Air Force. The pilot wings on the bottom are his graduation issue wings from 1943. The senior pilot and command pilot wings are post WW2.


Patches: Sqaudron patch (top), Seventh Army Air Force.

Decorations
Legion of Merit
Distinguished Flying Cross
Four Air Medals

Col. Williams in USAF uniform above and in Honolulu in front of the Ala Moana Hotel circa 1943 on the left


A close-up of Cheek Baby, Col. Williams P-47N, showing the Colonel in the cockpit and Nolan Fredricks, Cheek Baby's Crew Chief, standing on the wing.


Below: Col. Williams P-47N "Cheek Baby"


333rd P-47D seconds after carrier launch from Sargent Bay Carrier enroute to Saipan.
Gun camera footage of one of Col. Williams confirmed kills. The story in his words:

"The airplane seen in the two gun camera frames was a confirmed kill. The incident occurred 7 June 1945 over southern Kyushu. Early on that day, the 318th Fighter Group launched 11 flights, 42 P-47N aircraft. Their mission was to escort two Navy PB4Y1P and two Army P-38 reconnaissance aircraft as they photographed beaches intended as landing sites for the planned invasion of Japan. To divide Japan's fighter defense, the P-38s made a fast low level photo run while the PB4Y1Ps photographed from 20,000'. Twenty-four Japanese fighters attacked the reconnaissance aircraft. Four Zekes were shot down with the loss of one P-47 and the damage of another."

A modern day P-47N restored in the colors of Col. Williams plane on display in the The Cradle of Aviation Museum, Hempstead, NY
"This message was carried by squadron pilots in parachute survival kit. The message is written on silk in French, Thai, Lao, Annamese, Chinese, Korean, and Japanese. If forced down over an island or mainland Asia, the message would hopefully persuade any would be rescuer to lead the pilot to friendly underground people."

Click here for a history of the 333rd Fighter Squadron


333rd pilots on Sargent Bay Carrier

A brief overview of my experiences. ---- Flew in the Central Pacific with the 333rd Fighter Squadron, 318thFighter Group, 7th Fighter Command, 7th Air Force. With the 333rd, flew air defense missions in Hawaiian Islands and interdiction, air support, and escort missions during the Mariana and Okinawa Campaigns. Inserted into Mariana Campaign via carrier launch from Sargent Bay to land on Aslito, a captured Japanese Air Field. Ferried new P-47N, in formation flight, from Hawaii to Johnson Island, to Majuro Island, to Eniwetok Island, to Siapan. Inserted into Okinawa Campaign via squadron formation flight from Siapan to Ie Shima, a little island off the west coast of Okinawa. Flew 46 missions, 326 combat hours, 3 confirmed kills.

Retired after a total of 33 years as cadet, fighter pilot, engineering officer, research and development officer and system program manager.

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Aviation Wings and Badges of the World Wars