Conflict Period:
World War II 1
Army 1
1916 1
Oklahoma 1

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Personal Details

Walter R Young 1
Level of Education: 4 years of college 1
Marital Status: Single, without dependents 1
1916 1
Oklahoma 1
Place: Kay County, Oklahoma 1

World War II 1

Army 1
Enlistment Date:
01 Jan 1941 1
Army Branch:
Air Corps 1
Army Component:
Regular Army (including Officers, Nurses, Warrant Officers, and Enlisted Men) 1
Army Serial Number:
18004516 1
Enlistment Place:
Oklahoma City Oklahoma 1
Source of Army Personnel:
Civil Life 1
Athletes, sports instructors, and sports officials 1
Race or Ethnicity:
White 1
Source Information:
Box Number: 0265 1
Card Number: + 1
Film Reel Number: 2.122 1

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B-29 #42-24598 (A-SQ-5)

Isley Field, Saipan, Mariana Islands

Walter Roland Young while at the University of Oklahoma, was named the outstanding Army Reserve Officers Training Corps cadet during a six-week summer course at Fort Sill in 1939.  He enlisted as an Aviation Cadet in the Army Air Corps on 1 January 1941 at Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Completed military ground school and preliminary flight training at the Spartan School of Aeronautics in Tulsa. Then completed primary flight training at Brooks Field and basic flight training at Randolph Field in San Antonio before earning his wings on 15 August 1941, and was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the Army Air Forces. 

Flew the North American single-engine O-47A with the 118th Observation Squadron, 66th Observation Group stationed at Jacksonville Army Air Base, Florida.  Graduated from advanced multi-engine training and flew the Lockheed twin-engine B-34 on anti-submarine patrols while assigned to the 433rd Bomb Squadron, 45th Bomb Group stationed at Galveston Army Air Field, Texas. 

Served one tour of duty in Europe on B-24 Liberators and volunteered for the B-29 Program.  Was selected to command “Crew A-5” during B-29 aircraft transition and combat crew training at Pratt Army Air Field, Kansas. 

In September 1944, deployed to the Central Pacific Theatre of Operations and was assigned to 20th Air Force, XXI Bomber Command, 73rd Bomb Wing, 497th Bombardment Group, 869th Bomb Squadron stationed at Isley Field on Saipan in the Mariana Islands. 

On 9 January 1945, he flew in the left seat as the Airplane Command Pilot aboard a Boeing B-29 Superfortress nicknamed “Waddy’s Wagon” (Serial #42-24598) Tail Code: A-Square-5. 

It was one of 72 aircraft launched in a multi-group formation to bombard the Musashino Aircraft Works and Nakajima Aircraft Engine Factory near Tokyo, Japan.  After the bomb run, his aircraft was last sighted 10 miles east of Choshi Point off mainland Japan at 27,000 feet and descending to provide protection to B-29 A-Square-46 which was under attack from 15 Nakajima Ki-44 “Tojo” fighter planes. 

He was killed when his aircraft was forced to ditch at a geographic location of approximately 34 degrees North and 143 degrees East.  The next day a B-17 “Dumbo” search plane was dispatched to the area, but no wreckage or survivors were ever found.  He was declared KIA one year later.

Walter Roland "Waddy" Young

Ponca City, OK

Walter Roland "Waddy" Young was born on 4 September 1916 at Ponca City, Oklahoma.  He attended Ponca City High School, was the captain of the Wildcat Football team and received “All-State” honors in 1934.  While at the University of Oklahoma, he was the first Oklahoman to be named an “All-American” football player and he played in the 1939 Orange Bowl.  He was drafted by the Brooklyn Dodgers professional football team and played in the very first televised NFL game, against the Philadelphia Eagles on 22 October 1939.

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