The Oregon Air Guard’s First Thanksgiving

Roster for the 123rd Observation Squadron on Thanksgiving Day, 1941, page 2 of 2, shows the names of the enlisted men then assigned to the squadron. Among the Privates First Class (PFC), John L. Donis saved the brochure this picture was made from. PFC Thad C. Williams became an A-20 Havoc pilot and a combat casualty in Europe on March 13, 1945. PFC Gerald E. Wilson became a B-17 flight engineer and the squadron’s first Prisoner of War, in Germany on March 4, 1944. Privates Bruce C. Green and Leonard W. Mayer were lost aboard the SS Paul Hamilton when it was sunk with all hands by a German aircraft in the Mediterranean Sea on April 20, 1944. Private Jack W. Shaylor was lost in a postwar A-26 Invader aircraft mishap on April 9, 1948. Private Fred H. Hill was the first “new” enlisted member to join the squadron after activation, an Oregon Army Guardsman who transferred from the Infantry into the Air Corps. Private Fred C. Parish became the last known living charter member of the squadron - he passed away in La Grande, Oregon on July 7, 2019. (Les Donis Collection, 142nd Wing History Archive)

PHOTO BY: courtesy asset
VIRIN: 221123-Z-F3895-1005.JPG
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