William C. Babington

Lt. W. Babington, 18 Years of Age, Gets Commission
MOODY FIELD, GA—Former Aviation Cadet William C. Babington, son of Mr. and Mrs. H. S. Babington, 541 McDonough Street, was recently graduated from the Army Air Forces Pilot School at Moody Field, GA, and has been commissioned as a Second Lieutenant with the rating of Army Pilot. 

Lieutenant Babington has the distinction of having been commissioned at the age of 18, and he will not be 19 until March 29. He was attending the State Teachers College here when he entered the Air Corps on April 9, 1943, a month after his birthday. He is a graduate of the local high school.

The new flying officers will pilot all types of multi-engine aircraft; heavy, medium and light bombers; transport and cargo planes and, for those who continue as instructors with the Army Air Forces Training Command's vast network of technical and flying schools, training ships, such as they have flown at Moody Field.

Lt. Wm. Babington Aided in Invasion of South France
15TH AAF IN ITALY—Second Lieutenant William C. Babington, 19-year-old pilot from 541 McDonough Street, Eau Claire, WI, is following the Allied offensive in southern France with particular interest these days, since his Army Air Forces B-17 group was the first heavy bombardment unit over the invasion beach on the morning of August 15.

Thirty minutes after his group left the target area full of bomb craters, waves of ground troops swarmed ashore. The invasion was his unit's fourth participation in a combined landing operation, having previously softened up the beaches at Salerno, Sicily, and Pantelleria.

Major General Nathan P. Twining, Commanding General of the Fifteenth Air Force, was present at the early morning briefing of the airmen which took place 6 hours prior to H-hour.

Men of the group have twice received Distinguished Unit Citations. One of these was given for a brilliant and daring attack which destroyed an enemy ammunition convoy during the closing stages of the Tunisian Campaign. The other for the first coordinated attack of the Eighth and Fifteenth Air Forces against Regensburg, Germany.

Lieutenant Babington, who entered the Army on March 4, 1943, won his wings at Moody Field, GA on January 7, 1944.  Arriving at his overseas station three months ago, he has participated in 22 combat missions over enemy targets.

REDISTRIBUTION CENTER--First Lieutenant William C. Babington, son of Mr. and Mrs. Harry Z. Babington, 541 McDonough Street, Eau Claire, is currently assigned to the Army Air Forces Redistribution Station at Santa Ana Army Air Base.  Lieutenant Babington entered the service on April 9, 1943 and went overseas in May 1944.  He has been awarded the Purple Heart, the Air Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, and the European Theater Ribbon with three Battle Stars.

Written by Harold (Diz) Kronenberg

Bill grew up on McDonough Street in Eau Claire and played basketball for the Eau Claire Blugolds.