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June 1935 as a flying cadet. Graduated from bombardment course Kelly Field, Texas, in June 1936 and went to 19th Bomb Group until August 1937 when he returned to Kelly as a flying instructor, Attack Section. Having attended group schools and become qualified in air navigation in the 19th Bomb Group, he was one of nine officers called to Barksdale in 1941 to formulate a curriculum and initiate USAAF navigation training for cadets. He became Operations Officer for the Navigation Training School at Turner Field, Georgia, in 1941, and Operations Officer and Dir. of Training at Selman Field, Louisiana, in 1942. In March 1943, he was placed on TDY with Ferry Command for purpose of feasibility test of flying fighters (P-38) to N. Africa via South Atlantic Route; on return was assigned as A-3, Seattle, Fighter Wing in June 1943. In October 1943, assigned to XII Ftr Command in North Africa and Italy as CO Naples Fighter Sector. In March 1944, transferred to XII Air Support Command as Sqdn CO, and Deputy Group CO 27th Ftr Group, which he took over in September 1944. Shot down in Germany in April 1945 by flak on his 89th mission; evaded until picked up by 10th Armored Division several days after. After VE Day he remained with this 27th Group in Occupied Germany until October 1945 when it was returned to ZI for inactivation. After R&R leave in January 1946, assigned to Plans Div., Hq Air University, and Chief, Academic Div., Hq. Air University in 1949 when assigned to AWC as student in August 1949. His proposed assignment is to P&O, Hq, USAF. Hobbies are golf, hunting, sailing and photography. His wife, Anne Lawton, is an Air Corps junior from South Carolina. Children are Anne Lawton (age 8) and Bill, Jr. (age 1).


"Nick" was born 14 December 1907 in Liberal, Kansas, the place he still calls home. He attended Kansas State College, receiving his BS in Business Administration and an infantry reserve commission in 1930. From 1930 to 1940, he was employed by the Panhandle Eastern Pipeline Company. During this period he had three years of duty with the CCC. In 1940 he entered active duty as a Captain, being assigned to the 7th Bomb Group, Ft. Douglas, Utah, with duties as S-1 and adjutant. With this group he departed for the Philippines in Nov. 1941 and CO of the Gd. echelon. After December 7, the group was rerouted and arrived in Brisbane, Australia, on 21 December. After arrival in Brisbane, he was Air Officer on the staff of the SW Pacific Task Force. When the 7th Bomb Group sailed for Java, he was retained in Australia as A-4 of the Air Section of the SW Pacific then made A-1, and Acting Adjutant General, Air Section, for Headquarters US Army forces in Australia. From 15 September 1942, when 5th AF was activated, until his return to the States, 5 February 1944, he was A-1 for 5th AF. In the States he was assigned as A-1 for First AF, Mitchel Field, remaining in this position until 15 April 1946. Upon the reactivation of 2nd AF at Offutt Field, Omaha, Nebraska, he became A-1 of the 2nd. The 2nd was redesignated the 10th and moved to Ft. Benjamin Harrison, Ind. in September 1948.

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