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Home >> >> The 464th in WWII >> The Last Sortie >> Lt. Williard S. Layne, Jr.

The Last Sortie

[Photo] Lt. Williard S. Layne, Jr.

Williard S. Layne, Jr., 778th

28 June 2003


    Born September 1, 1922 in St. Louis, Missouri. He joined the Air Corps on February 27th 1942. Randolph Field, Texas was where he trained as Glider Pilot and was commissioned as a bombardier. Williard then went to Pocatello, Idaho, North Africa, and on to Italy where he Served in the European Theater.
    Awarded a Unit Citation for bombing the Florisdorf Oil Refinery and Marshalling Yards at Vienna Austria. Awarded the EAME Air Medal for the European Theater.
    While wearing an inexpensive ring that he had just bought on his third finger - a piece of flack pierced the plane while he brushed back his hair. The flack hit the ring causing him to lose his middle finger on his left hand, but saved his life.
    He was Awarded the Purple Heart. After which, he became Information Officer at Mather Air Force Base in Sacramento.
    Since his Honorable Discharge May 1, 1948, he has been Vice President of West Coast Life Insurance Agency. Williard Founded the Interact Club For Granada Hills High and Chatsworth High School in California. He was the Past President of the Rotary Club. Williard was always a devoted father. He always put service above self.

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