Conflict Period:
World War II 1
Army 1
14 Sep 1916 2
1916 1
Ponca City, OK 2
Oklahoma 1
09 Jan 1945 2

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Personal Details

Walter Roland Young 2
Walter R Young 1
Level of Education: 4 years of college 1
Marital Status: Single, without dependents 1
14 Sep 1916 2
1916 1
Ponca City, OK 2
Oklahoma 1
09 Jan 1945 2
Place: Kay County, Oklahoma 1
Mother: Amy Opal Young 2
Father: Glen Hiram Young 2

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 October 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 (VH), 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. 

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.


NOTE: The 869th Bomb Sqdn deployed to the Pacific Theater of Operations, with the ground echelon sailing 30 July 1944 on the SS Fairisle, passing through Honolulu and Eniwetok before arriving at Saipan on 20 September 1944. Upon arrival the squadron's personnel were engaged in construction. By mid-October most personnel were able to move into Quonset huts from the tents which they were assigned on arrival. The aircrews began departing Kansas on 6 October, ferrying their aircraft to Saipan via a 6500-nautical mile route, with the last B-29 arriving on 30 October 1944.

Walter Roland Young

Ponca City, OK

Walter Roland "Waddy" Young was born to parents Glen H. and Amy O. Young on 14 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.

The Greatest Generations Foundation Photo of the Week


The Greatest Generations Foundation

Photo Of The Week: The crew of the Boeing B-29 Superfortress "Waddy's Wagon", 869th Bomb Squadron, 497th Bomb Group, 73rd Bomb Wing, 20th Air Force, posing to duplicate their caricatures in the nose art at Isley Airfield in Saipan, 24th of November 1944.

On the 9th of January 1945 “Waddy’s Wagon” took off from Saipan to bomb the Nakajima Aircraft Factory in Musashino, Japan. Coming off the target as stated in B-29 Hunter’s of the JAAF: “Another victim of a ramming was “Miss Behaving” AC #42-24655 from the 497th Bomb Group, flown by 1st Lt Ben Crowell. Capt Walter Young in “Waddy’s Wagon” tried to cover for his crippled wingmate as they headed out of the target area but eventually lost them. Young’s aircraft had also sustained hits from enemy fighters, and he in turn eventually ditched his aeroplane into the sea. Both crews were lost.” They ditched in the Pacific Ocean near the island of Hachijo Shima. The crew was declared dead on 10 January 1946.

Capt. Walter R. "Waddy" Young - Command Pilot (KIA)
..... O-382584 Ponca City, Oklahoma
2nd Lt. Robert M. Phillips - Pilot (KIA)**
..... O-806902 Knoxville, Tennessee ** (Phillips is not in the photo, he replaced 2nd Lt. Jack M. "Cactus" Vetters who is 2nd from the left in the photo, and who survived the war).
2nd Lt. John F. Ellis - Bombardier (KIA)
..... O-685457 Moberly, Missouri
2nd Lt. Bernard S. "Bunny" Black - Flight Engineer (KIA)
..... O-866285 Woodhaven, New York
Sgt. George E. "Sparks" Avon - Radio Operator (KIA)
..... 32936470 Syracuse, New York
Sgt. Lawrence L. "Lucky" Lee - Central Fire Control (KIA)
..... 37252164 Max, North Dakota
2nd Lt. Paul R. "Gat" Garrison,Jr. - Navigator (KIA)
..... O-698695 Lancaster, Pennsylvania
S/Sgt. Kenneth M. "Windy" Mansir - Radar Operator (KIA)
..... 11097819 Randolph, Missouri
Sgt, Wilbur J. "Sleepy" Chapman - Right Gunner (KIA)
..... 38606304 Panhandle, Texas
Sgt. Corbett L. Carnegie - Left Gunner (KIA)
..... 12214591 Grindstone Island, New York
S/Sgt. Joseph J. Gatto - Tail Gunner (KIA)
..... 12024315 Falconer, New York

Photo Colorised by Patty Allison from the USA.

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