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There were several people that I know of that contributed
to major military service. My grandfather, on my mother's side, Sumner
McBee Williams, was in the Army Air Corps (pronounced core). When
in the Air Corps, he lived in Italy. He flew in a B-24 Liberator.
A group of planes together is called a formation. My grandfather
usually led a formation. He fought in World War II, and back then
the bombs were not computer guided. You had to be very precise when
dropping the bombs so that they hit their targets.
Capt. Sumner McBee Williams on left end of back row
Picture taken by Capt.
Sumner McBee Williams
On one bomb run, my grandfather and his formation bombed enemy territory, and on the way back to base, they encountered flak (a type of anti-aircraft artillary) coming up from the ground. Two of the four engines the plane had were wiped out, so he was flying low above enemy territory. He still had to fly over the mountains to get back to base. He had to decide whether to crash land on enemy territory, or try to make it over the mountains. He decided to take the mountains, and barely made it over them. When he got back, the maintenance crew told him that a flak was 1/8 of an inch away from hitting the fuel line, which would have destroyed the plane, and the 10 people who were on it.
My great-grandfather, Sumner McBee Williams, was a soldier on the ground in World War I and to an extent in World War II. He didn't die in the war. He died of a heart attack. In World War I, the soldiers used horses to pull the cannons, or for troops to ride on. My great-grandfather had to train the horses. He went to a military academy called West Point.
|Colonel Sumner McBee Williams
My grandfather on my father's
side, Henry W. Birdsong, Jr., was a civilian flight instructor for the
army during World War II. Near the end of the war, he enlisted to
the Navy and was sent to the Pacific Ocean to fight the Japanese.
He was stationed in Hawaii when the war ended.
Jacob West, was stationed in France
during World War I.
Henry McCoy, John Lowe, Major Croom, and George Herndon all served in the American Revolution. Captain Major Croom was a member of the Committee of Safety for the district of New Bern during the Revolutionary War.
James Birdsong volunteered to serve in the war of 1812. He enlisted at Eatonton, Putnam County, Georgia.
Lott A. Croom died of typhoid pneumonia while a soldier
in the confederate army during the Civil War. He died five months
before his daughter, Mitt Croom, my great-great-grandmother, was born.