"Waddy"Young Biography-4: WW2 Pilot

Young - Waddy B-29 Crew.jpg
Young - Waddys Wagon.jpg

“After the 1940 season, Young decided to join the Army Air Corps. He entered flight training in January 1941 and received his wings in August that year from Kelly Field Texas.  Flying a B-24 Liberator on an anti-sub patrol in the North Atlantic was his first assignment; the plane attacked one Nazi submarine and shot down two Luftwaffe fighter planes.  After completing his full complement of 25 missions over Europe as the pilot of a B-17 Flying Fortress, he requested a return to combat.  There, Young earned the command of an entire squadron of the new B-29 Super Fortresses.

Flying his own aircraft, with “Waddy’s Wagon” depicted on the nose, Waddy was part of the very first bomb run over Tokyo, launched from Saipan in Nov 1944.  By January 1945, he had logged more that 9,000 combat hours. But his time had run out.  On January 29, 1945, after his squadron completed at attack over Japan, he realized that one of his B-29 comrades  -- piloted by his close friend, Bennie Crowell – was under attack and losing altitude over the Sea of Japan. Young turned back to try and help Crowell. Neither aircraft was ever found; there was speculation that the two planes accidently collided and exploded. Young gave his life, doing in combat what he had done on the football field – taking care of his teammates."

--- from When Football Went To War

Waddy and his crew are honored at the Courts of the Missing at Honolu Memorial Cemetery.

Young - Lost over Tokyo.jpg