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Calvin Coolidge Worthington
27 Nov 1920 | Shidler, OK
Calvin "Cal" Worthington joined the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) at the age of 15 and went to Colorado to build trails in what is now Rocky Mountain National Park. The CCC was a "New Deal" public work relief program that was operated by the United States Army from 1933 to 1942, intended for unemployed, unmarried men, from relief families, ages 17–23.
He went on to serve in the United States Army in World War II, flying for the Army Air Corps. In 1942, he completed basic flight training and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant. He was the aerobatics champion at Goodfellow Field in San Angelo, Texas. Completed multi-engine training at Ellington Field near Houston, Texas.
During the war, he served as a B-17 Flying Fortress pilot with the 8th Air Force, 13th Combat Bomb Wing, 390th Bombardment Group (Heavy), 568th Bomb Squadron flying 29 combat missions over Germany between 11 Dec 1943 and 29 April 1944.
On 26 January 1943, the 390th Bombardment Group (H) was activated on General Order 14, issued by Headquarters second Air Force, Fort George Wright near Spokane, Washington. Formation did not begin until late February 1943. Training at Geiger Field, Washington until 6 June 1943 when the Group moved to Great Falls Army Air Base, Montana. The aircraft went overseas on the 4th of July 1943 taking the northern ferry route from Iceland to Prestwick, where the first aircraft arrived on the 13th of July 1943. The ground unit left for Camp Shanks, NY on the 4th of July 1943 and sailed on the USS James Parker on the 17th of July 1943, and they arrived in Liverpool on the 27th of July 1943.
Cal shipped out to England on the Queen Elizabeth. The 390th BG prepared for combat with B-17 aircraft at USAAF Station #153 (RAF Parham) located 3 miles southeast of Framlingham in Suffolk, England. The 390th Bomb Group tail code was "Square-J".
After 29 B-17 combat missions, he rotated back to the States and began flying the Boeing B-29 Superfortress. He was discharged after the war as a Captain in 1945. He was awarded the Air Medal five times. And he was also a recipient of the Distinguished Flying Cross, which was presented to him by Jimmy Doolittle.