Summary

Conflict Period:
World War II 1
Branch:
Army 1
Birth:
1920-21 NOT 1855 2
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Pictures & Records (4)

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Personal Details

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Person:
Billy Dykes 1
Level of Education: 1 year of college 1
Marital Status: Single, without dependents 1
Birth:
1920-21 NOT 1855 2
Male 2
Birth:
1855 1
Mississippi 1
Residence:
Place: Yazoo County, Mississippi 1
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World War II 1

Branch:
Army 1
Enlistment Date:
04 Nov 1939 1
Army Branch:
None 1
Army Component:
Regular Army (including Officers, Nurses, Warrant Officers, and Enlisted Men) 1
Army Serial Number:
07002776 1
Enlistment Term:
Enlistment for the Panama Canal Department 1
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Occupation:
Skilled motion picture projectionists 1
Source Information:
Box Number: 0049 1
Film Reel Number: 1.49 1

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Stories

S/Sgt Billy Dykes, Top-Turret Gunner, 321st Bomb Group

Italy

Billy Dykes receives his Purple Heart

321st Bomb Group, 446th Bomb Squadron, B-25 Mitchell Medium Bombers; MTO

World War II Army Enlistment Records-  ARMY SERIAL NUMBER 07002776  NAME; DYKES  BILLY
RESIDENCE: STATE; MISSISSIPPI;  COUNTY YAZOO  
DATE OF ENLISTMENT 4 Nov. 1939;  NATIVITY MISSISSIPPI;  YEAR OF BIRTH 55 (Wrong Year) 
EDUCATION 5;  1 year of college;  CIVILIAN OCCUPATION; Skilled motion picture projectionists
MARITAL STATUS 6 Single, without dependents

**********************************************************************************************************

To MTO with Knapp group:

 

  A/C No. 41-13203 P Martin, John K., 2Lt CP Brown, Aud W., 2Lt N Anzalone, Benjamin W., 2Lt (Bmb/Nav) B N/A E Tucker, Gerald T., S/Sgt R Olson, Harold F., Pvt (Radar) G Dykes, Billy (NMI), S/Sgt F Staudt, Howard J., Sgt (PAX)

 

 

1st mission:

21 Mar 43 - 446th BS Mission Summary: (Ops Order 6/mission 5) Group Mission # 5:  Group mission # 5, Squadron # 3:  led by Lt. Griffith.  The target was a L/G at Mezzouna, but because of bad weather and lack of escort, the target was not reached.

 

  A/C No.   41-29760 P Griffith, Frank J. “Grif”, 1Lt CP Hileman, Donald L. “Buck”, 2Lt N Caldwell, Herman B., Jr., 1Lt B Manning, Rodney A., 2Lt

E

Mitchell, Lance M., S/Sgt

R

Haley, Woodrow H., Pvt G Dykes, Billy (NMI), S/Sgt F None

 

First kill:

21 May 43 - HQ 321st BG War Diary:  On May 21, 1943 the fifty-seventh mission took off at 1500 with 24 planes to bomb the Villacidro Airdrome.  They dropped 1,710 twenty-pound frag bombs at 1700 from 7,500 feet.  Four strings of bombs were seen to burst among planes in the revetments on the northwest corner of the field.  Three twin-engine planes were seen to explode at the extreme southwest corner.  Four columns of black smoke were observed as the formation left at 7,000 feet.  Three planes were seen burning in the northeast corner of the field, from another group’s attack.  Staff Sgt. Billy Dykes of Meridian, Miss., destroyed 1 ME-109, which was seen crashing to the ground.  The escort shot down 5 enemy aircraft.  Four parachutes opened, after a B-25 exploded in mid-air and was seen to spin to the ground.  It was estimated that there were 35 enemy aircraft on the ground.  Between 15 and 20 ME-109s, FW-190s and MA-202s were seen in a dog-fight with the escort.  Medium-sized M/Vs were observed off the Gulf Of Oristano.  Numerous small boats were seen at the jetty at Carloforte.  Flight leaders were Maj. Cook, Lieut. Morton, Lieut. Culp and Lieut. Griffith.  Observers were Col. Ridenour, Group Capt. Griffiths, Capt Pendleton and Lieut. Corning.

Cook, Bailey C., Maj, pilot, Commander, 445th BS                            Corning, C. H., 1Lt

Culp, Merle H., 1Lt, pilot, 448th BS                                                    Dykes, Billy (NMI), S/Sgt, gunner, 446th BS

Griffith, Frank J. "Grif", Capt, pilot, 446th BS                                  Griffiths, J. F., Group Capt, RAF

Morton, William H. "Mort", 1Lt, pilot, 447th BS                                Pendleton, J. W., Capt, HQ 47th Wing

Ridenour, Carlyle H., Col, HQ 47th Wing, Commander

 

WIA:

5 Jul 43 - 446th BS Mission Summary: (Ops Order 69/mission 68) Group Mission # 81: Group mission 68, Sqdn 59 composed of 10 planes led by Capt. Griffith.  The target was the Gerbini L/G #6, Sicily.  300 lb bombs were carried but only one corner of the field was hit.  Flak was heavy and accurate, but there were no fighters.  Lt. Bradley’s plane was hit by flak and he was forced to land it in the sea.  S/Sgt. Sheldon received a broken leg and S/Sgt. Lovell received cuts on his face.  The crew was picked up by a British ASR launch and taken to Malta.  Capt. Griffith’s plane was also badly hit by flak and S/Sgt. Billy Dykes was injured by it.

 

  A/C No.   42-64526 P

Griffith, Frank J. “Grif”, Capt

CP

Carlisle, Howard L., 1Lt

N Caldwell, Herman B., Jr., 1Lt B Marek, Joseph R., 2Lt

E

Mitchell, Lance M., S/Sgt

R

Haley, Woodrow H., T/Sgt G Dykes, Billy (NMI), S/Sgt F None

 

Received Purple Heart:

HQ 321st BG War Diary:  Additional Narrative for August 1943:  The first of August was a big day for the 321st Bombardment Group.  The group was on that day one year old.  The Group had come a long way in that year and had already dealt a number of heavy blows to the enemy.  The aerial bombardment of Sicily and Italy was one of the deciding factors in convincing Italy that she might soon be wise to get out of the war.  Premier Mussolini had resigned and was replaced by Marshal Badoglio.  The 321st Bombardment Group played an important part in the bombardment of military objectives on Italian soil.  A program was held on this Sunday of August 1st, 1943, in the headquarters area.  General Ridenour, 47th Wing Commander, and Captain Lund, Engineering Officer of the 47th Wing were guests at the festivities.  Talks were given by Colonel Knapp and other staff officers of the group in addition to a talk by General Ridenour, guest on the program.  Colonel Lowell presided as master of ceremonies and very ably so, keeping the program from becoming too serious a matter.  General Ridenour commented on and praised highly the achievements of the 321st Bombardment Group and the enviable records that they had attained.  Col. Knapp also presented Purple Hearts to the following named personnel who had been wounded in operational missions against the enemy:  Major Bailey C. Cook, Captain Robert W. Manley, 1st Lt Ralph L. Axson Jr., 1st Lt. Vergil L. Seawell, 1st Lt. Charles M. VanArtsdalen, 2nd Lt. James M. Meehan, 2nd Lt. Walter G. McCone, 2nd Lt. Jack P. McLeod, 2nd Lt. William H. Shaw, 2nd Lt. Roy W., Tate, T/Sgts. Joseph E. Eagan, James A. Shields, S/Sgts. Billy Dykes, Ronald A. Grant, Aage E. Jensen, Curtis L. Lovell, Russell E. Murphy, Walter E., Porter, T/Sgt. Woodrow H. Haley and Pvt. Michael A., Poranda.  The program closed with the singing of the “Star Spangled Banner” and the rest of the day was declared a holiday.

 

On August 1, 1943, Col. Knapp addressed the entire Group

At Souk-El-Arba, Algeria in celebration of Anniversary Day.

50 missions:

15 Oct 43 - 446th BS War Diary:  Capt. Frank Griffith, S/Sgt. Dewitt, T/Sgt. Haley, S/Sgt. L.M. Mitchell, Lt. Richard P. Morris, and S/Sgt. Billy Dykes finished fifty missions.

DeWitt, Joe B., S/Sgt, gunner                                   Dykes, Billy, S/Sgt, gunner

Griffith, Frank J. “Grif”, Capt, pilot                      Haley, Woodrow H., T/Sgt, gunner

Mitchell, Lance M., S/Sgt, gunner                            Morris, Richard Pervis, Jr., 2Lt, pilot

 

Headed home:

1 Nov 43 - 446th BS War Diary:  T/Sgt. Jack Chappell, S/Sgt. Urie P. Zook, Lt. Thomas E. Dains, Lt. Sterling Davis, Lt. Wallace Williams, Lt. Richard P. Morris, T/Sgt. W.H. Haley, S/Sgt. Billy Dykes, S/Sgt. Joe B. DeWitt, S/Sgt. L.M. Mitchell, and S/Sgt. Walter E. Porter were today transferred to the Port of Debarkation, USA.  Some of the men were getting short on their cigarettes and a ration this evening lifted their spirits.

Chappell, Jack F., T/Sgt, gunner                                Dains, Thomas E., 2Lt., pilot

Davis, Sterling, 2Lt, navigator                                   DeWitt, Joe B., S/Sgt, gunner

Dykes, Billy, S/Sgt, gunner                                          Haley, Woodrow H., T/Sgt, gunner

Mitchell, Lance M., S/Sgt, gunner                               Morris, Richard Pervis, Jr., 2Lt, pilot

Porter, Walter E., S/Sgt, gunner                                 Williams, Wallace (NMI) “Spike”, 2Lt, pilot

Zook, Urie H., S/Sgt, gunner

 

I can account for 53 missions, including spares, early returns, etc.

Mar 43                5

Apr                    4       

May                  12

Jun                     7

Jul                      1

Aug                    7

Sep                  11

Oct                     6

            Total     53

***************446th BS; 5 July, 1943; *********************************************************** 

446th BS Mission Summary: (Ops Order 69/mission 68) Group Mission # 81: Group mission 68, Sqdn 59 composed of 10 planes led by Capt. Griffith.  The target was the Gerbini L/G #6, Sicily.  300 lb bombs were carried but only one corner of the field was hit.  Flak was heavy and accurate, but there were no fighters.  Lt. Bradley’s plane was hit by flak and he was forced to land it in the sea.  S/Sgt. Sheldon received a broken leg and S/Sgt. Lovell received cuts on his face.  The crew was picked up by a British ASR launch and taken to Malta.

 *****  Capt. Griffith’s plane was also badly hit by flak and ****S/Sgt. Billy Dykes *** was injured by it. *****


Friday, 15 October 1943 (War-Diary)
446th BS War Diary: Capt. Frank Griffith; S/Sgt. DeWitt; T/Sgt. Haley; 
S/Sgt. L.M. Mitchell; Lt. Richard P. Morris; and S/Sgt. Billy Dykes; finished fifty missions.
DeWitt, Joe B., S/Sgt, Gunner; Dykes, Billy (NMI), S/Sgt, Gunner; Griffith, Frank J., "Griff", Capt, Pilot
Haley, Woodrow H., T/Sgt, Gunner; Mitchell, Lance M., S/Sgt, Gunner; Morris, Richard P., Jr., 2Lt, Pilot

Monday, 1 November 1943 (War Disry)
446th BS War Diary: T/Sgt. Jack Chappell, S/Sgt. Urie P. Zook, Lt. Thomas E. Dains, Lt. Sterling Davis, Lt. Wallace Williams, Lt. Richard P. Morris, T/Sgt. W.H. Haley, S/Sgt. Billy Dykes, S/Sgt. Joe B. DeWitt, S/Sgt. L.M. Mitchell, and S/Sgt. Walter E. Porter were today transferred to the Port of Debarkation, USA. Some of the men were getting short on their cigarettes and a ration this evening lifted their spirits.
Chappell, Jack F., T/Sgt, gunner 
Dains, Thomas E., 2Lt., pilot
Davis, Sterling, 2Lt, navigator
DeWitt, Joe B., S/Sgt, gunner
Dykes, Billy, S/Sgt, gunner
Haley, Woodrow H., T/Sgt, gunner
Mitchell, Lance M., S/Sgt, gunner
Morris, Richard P., Jr., 2Lt, pilot
Porter, Walter E., S/Sgt, gunner
Williams, Wallace (NMI) “Spike”, 2Lt, pilot
Zook, Urie H., S/Sgt, gunner

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