Billy Burr Hollingshead

BRANCH OF SERVICE
U.S. Army Air Forces

HOMETOWN
Dallas, TX

HONORED BY
M. Carol Darnell & Richard Gaboury, Relatives

ACTIVITY DURING WWII

ID: 0-663730 ENLISTED JANUARY 15, 1942 AS AN AVIATION CADET. HE RECEIVED FLIGHT TRAINING AT BROOKS FIELD, SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS. SENT TO SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AS A BOMBER PILOT IN 1943. ASSIGNED TO THE U.S. ARMY AIR FORCES, 388TH BOMBER SQUADRON, 312TH BOMBER GROUP AS AN ASSISTANT FLIGHT LEADER. FLEW B-24 AND P-40 AIRCRAFT. ON JANUARY 15, 1944 HE SERVED AS WING MAN ON A PATROL MISSION BETWEEN GUSAP AND DUMPU, NEW GUINEA. AS THE FORMATION CLIMBED ALTITUDE AN UNDETERMINED NUMBER OF HOSTILE FIGHTERS APPROACHED FROM THE REAR, HE SIGHTED THE ENEMY. WHILE TRYING TO ATTRACT THE ATTENTION OF THE FLIGHT LEADER JAPANESE INTERCEPTORS FIRED ON HIM, WOUNDING HIM IN THE LEG. INSTEAD OF DIVING AWAY HE REMAINED ON HIS LEADER’S WING, FURNISHING PROTECTION FOR OTHER AIRCRAFT UNTIL IT WAS SHOT DOWN AND HIS OWN PLANE BADLY DAMAGED. JUNE 1944 THE A-20G-40-DO 'PISTOL PACKING MAMA' SERIAL NUMBER 43-21416 TAIL H WAS ASSIGNED HIM. ON JUNE 29, 1944, HE TOOK OFF ON HIS 37TH MISSION FROM NADZAB AIRFIELD, FLYING WITH THE 386TH BOMBARDMENT SQUADRON ON A MISSION AGAINST YAKAMUL WEST OF WEWAK. HIS HAVOC A-20 DISAPPEARED AFTER FLYING INTO HEAVY CLOUDS AND A RAIN SQUALL MINUTES AFTER TAKE OFF NEAR KAIAPIT. HE WAS DECLARED MISSING IN ACTION, THEN KILLED IN ACTION. MEMORIALIZED AT MANILA AMERICAN CEMETERY, FORT BONIFACIO, MANILA, PHILIPPINE ISLANDS. MAY 15, 1973 A VILLAGER DISCOVERED THE WRECKAGE OF THE HAVOC A-20 SCATTERED ON THE SIDE OF A REMOTE MOUNTAIN GULLY, TWO MILES EAST OF KAIAPIT STATION, NEW GUINEA. LATER, THE REMAINS WERE RECOVERED BY A U.S. ARMY CILHI TEAM FROM HAWAII AND TAKEN TO TACHIKAWA AIR FORCE BASE, JAPAN FOR IDENTIFICATION. HIS REMAINS WERE RETURNED TO HIS FAMILY AND BURIED ON MARCH 28, 1974 AT POTOSI CEMETERY, POTOSI, TEXAS WITH FULL MILITARY HONORS BY AN ARMY TEAM FROM FT. HOOD, TEXAS. AWARDED THE SILVER STAR, AIR MEDAL, PURPLE HEART WITH OAK LEAF CLUSTER.