Junior Wilson: Cadet Training and Wings

Junior Wilson was accepted as a cadet in the Army Air Force, but they had so many in the pipeline, they were given more time in each section of training. He began at Sheppard Field, Wichita, Texas, then was sent to Stillwater,  Oklahoma, for College Detachment studies, then San Antonio for Preflight.

Primary

Curtis Field, Brady, Texas

Junior’s first flying was in the PT-19, 66 hours. He was stationed at Curtis Field from June to September 1944.

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Junior Wilson, July 1944, Brady, Texas.

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Basic

Majors Field, Greenville, and Waco, Texas

Junior Wilson added up to 120 hours total in the BT-13, from September to November, 1944. Both of his older brothers, Dale and Danny, had trained in the BT-13.

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BT-13
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C. Junior Wilson, October 10, 1944, taken in Dallas, Texas.

Advanced

Aloe Air Force Base, Victoria, Texas

His Advanced training was done in an AT-6. Dale and Danny Wilson had also trained in the AT-6. Junior had over 271 hours of flight by the time he received his wings, Class 45-A at Aloe on March 11, 1945.

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AT-6

So by the time Junior Wilson arrived in Iowa March 13 to celebrate his new pilot’s wings, his parents had gotten the telegram that Danny was MIA in Austria.

Two brothers Missing in Action, Danny in Europe, Dale in New Guinea. And Donald was in the thick of combat near Japan on the crew of the USS Hancock.

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Junior’s photo was taken at Edmondsons Studio in Perry, March 24, 1945.

Snapshots taken the next day at the Perry acreage, one with his nephew Richard Scar, just before Junior left for Des Moines to catch a train to Aloe Field, Victoria, Texas.

10 comments

    • At the beginning of the war he was still in high school and the shortest of the brothers, but by that furlough home, I think he’d become the tallest. Loved his sense of humor in his letters.

    • Oh Liz, I couldn’t even write it for the longest time. Mom parceled out details a few at a time, which I noted and eventually strung together. I was in tears as I finally wrote that section, and of course even cried while transcribing some of the letters and telegrams. How did the family get through those awful days!

  1. Thank you for writing the story of the boys. They were all so handsome. The last chapters were so hard to read due to tears. I am very proud of the work you did to put together this book.

    • Bless you, Leora! I just couldn’t let them be forgotten. I was in tears while I transcribed some of the letters, telegrams, and even information from the casualty records. Then cried again as I attempted to capture heart-wrenching scenes.

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