Army Air Force Navigation School
Hondo, Texas

July-October, 1942

The picture at the left has a caption on the reverse: "Would be navigator"


If you want some general information about what this navigator school was like, take a look at this newspaper story

A week before his graduation he apparently took a training flight (he called it a "graduation hop" on the card to his mother) all the way up to Chicago. Just below is the front of a postcard he sent June from that trip and a photo that must have been taken then, also. The caption he wrote on the back of the photo reads: "Band played on in ole Chicago." Below these images are ones of the card he sent to Una during the same trip. (Click here if you want to see more postcards.)

We found some miscellaneous notes, most of which I believe Billy took during his early navigator's training (the one complete date in the notes is July, 1942, but there are mentions of European places as well). These notes were found in what we believe is the notebook, holding 6x9 inch pages, where the Journal itself was kept.

Here is the program from the graduation exercises. We found several copies of this, so I'm sure June, Una, and probably other friends and family all attended.

Graduation program (front) Graduation program (inside)

In addition to a diploma, the graduates even got a ring to commemorate the occasion ...

... as well as a "yearbook," of sorts. Here is the cover:


To see a PDF version of the rest of the "yearbook," click here. Rotate the images clockwise to see facing pages of the booklet. Billy (who was in Group III) and his classmates are listed on page 5 of the PDF. The only picture that is identifiable of Billy (I think) is on page 6, the center picture on the top row. There are several group shots of the airmen on parade that undoubtedly show him, but the images are too small to make an identification.

At right is a copy of the picture in which I think Billy appears. Is that him, third from the left?


We also found this two-part idenitification card, apparently issued upon Billy's commission (the image in the middle is the cover of the carrying case in which we found the id card):

ID card ID card cover ID card

And, to finish up the Hondo items, we have these three pictures taken there—a variation on the official "graduation" photo, Billy and an unidentified classmate, and Billy in the south Texas brush country:

Graduation photo Billy and Hondo classmate Billy in Hondo


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