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PrivateIdaho

Most Heroes You Never Know About.

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by on 07-14-2013 at 12:13 AM (1487 Views)
Like my great uncle.....



He was just Uncle Billy to us but in WW II he was Billy-the-wiz-Whisner.

Valor: A Very Special Ace
By John L. Frisbee

Only one Air Force pilot was both an ace in two wars and a three-time winner of the DSC.


Uncle Billy's plane Moonbeam McSwine.

The real deal.


Bill Whisner first came into prominence as wingman to famous ace George Preddy. In January 1944 he was there as protection when Preddy claimed his first Victim. Whisner scored his first personal victory against a 109 while he covered Preddy's lead. After the 487th switched to the Mustang in the Spring he flew Princess Elizabeth, then when he got the D model, named it Moonbeam McSwine after the Li'l Abner character. Subject aircraft paint is around Dec. 1944. After scoring 15.5 victories and earning TWO Distinguished Service Crosses in World War II, Major Whisner returned to combat in Korea where he again became an Ace, netting 6.5 victories and earning a third Distinguished Service Cross. In the post-Korea years, William Whisner continued his career as a fighter pilot, winning the Bendix Trophy Race in 1953. After retiring as a colonel, he finally settled down in his home state of Louisiana. On July 21,1989, Col. William Whisner died of a yellow jacket sting.

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  1. PrivateIdaho's Avatar
    My Grandmother (Billy's sister) lives in Idaho Falls. Here is an incredible Billy story:

    On Nov. 21 he led a flight of P-51s on an escort mission to Merseburg, Germany. As the bombers left their target, a large formation of enemy fighters struck. Meyer (now a lieutenant colonel) told Whisner to take a straggler in one of the enemy's three six-ship cover flights. In a linked series of attacks, Whisner shot down four FW-190s in the cover flight and probably got another.

    With no more than two -190s left in the cover flight he had attacked, Whisner turned his attention to the main enemy formation, exploding a -190 that had not dropped its belly tank. Evading three -190s on his tail, he shot down another that was closing on one of his pilots. Then, low on ammunition, he joined up with Meyer and returned to Bodney.


    Whisner was credited with five -190s and two probables that day. His score later was revised by the Air Force Historical Research Center to six destroyed, making that day one of the best for any USAAF pilot in the skies over Europe. For that achievement, Whisner was awarded his first Distinguished Service Cross--second only to the Medal of Honor.

    That's ace-in-a-day folks!
  2. Landfall2004's Avatar
    FIRST!!!!

    Very cool to have a war hero in the family!
  3. kaiden's Avatar
    That is a very interesting story, quite the stick and rudder man. To go through all that and die from a Yellow Jacket sting. Thanks for sharing with us.

    Oh, Re-Ported Landfall.
  4. Landfall2004's Avatar
    My Grandfather, (who's father came here from Germany and built our house at the turn of century) and his brothers flew in WWI--I have a Kaiser helmet and some ammo casings. Had a huge grenade shaped like a pineapple 'til the bomb squad came and took it. They also built a seaplane to land on our river, and owned other planes around here. My great uncle started a mail route to South America that PanAm later bought. I have the contract signed by Eddie Rickenbacker.
  5. PrivateIdaho's Avatar
    Cool story landfall. Thanks to everyone stopping in. I'm sure most everyone has an uncle Billy in the family......ironic that flying men couldn't kill him but a flying insect could.
  6. Landfall2004's Avatar
    During WWII, My great uncle also took my Dad (age about 10) up in his airplane to patrol the FL Coast. He had a bomb or two strapped to the bottom of the plane and a tube sticking out of the bottom of the plane. When you saw a German sub thru the "sight", you pulled the rope to let the bomb loose. If my Grandma had known my Dad was doing that, she would have killed my great uncle!!! I guess it was a family secret............... until now. OOPS. Oh well, none of them are with us anymore, can't hurt!
  7. PrivateIdaho's Avatar
    Like many vets Uncle Billy was humble and did not talk about his war experience very much. Another epic battle he was involved in was on new years day, late in the war when the Luftwaffe was a shadow of it's self. The Germans mounted a surprise attack on Billy's Airfield while they were still on the ground. Billy got airborne and despite his aircraft being hit he shot down 4 Germans. He didn't think much of it. He said that at that point in the war the German pilots were to young and inexperienced to put up much of a fight.
  8. libgoon's Avatar
    Very Cool PI ... Very nice dedication
  9. PrivateIdaho's Avatar
    Thanks lib! Hope you are doing well.
  10. libgoon's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by PrivateIdaho
    Thanks lib! Hope you are doing well.
    Doing ok ... Sleep is a lil disturbed but baring up at the moment
  11. PrivateIdaho's Avatar
    Going on 11:00 here so I'm turning in G'night!
  12. Ossqss's Avatar
    What a great story! Your family should be very proud. Thanks for sharing.
  13. InTheCone's Avatar
    Nice write up about your great uncle. I think you are correct that there are a lot heroes around that don't get any attention, and don't want any, even today.
  14. aqua's Avatar
    I can't imagine having a family tree. Some folks love their families, and are proud, like here. Some folks, maybe they are
    not so happy about some of the tree branches. Nice to see ya'll with fond family memories.
  15. PrivateIdaho's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by InTheCone
    Nice write up about your great uncle. I think you are correct that there are a lot heroes around that don't get any attention, and don't want any, even today.
    Like Mark. Even if you don't want to talk about yourself I bet you have some interesting stories about the exploits of others....(hint, hint,....Mark?)
  16. PrivateIdaho's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by aqua
    I can't imagine having a family tree. Some folks love their families, and are proud, like here. Some folks, maybe they are
    not so happy about some of the tree branches. Nice to see ya'll with fond family memories.
    Hey Aqua, I definitely have some family tree branches I would like to trim off but hey, makes family reunions interesting in a crazy, disfunctional way.
  17. StAugustineFL's Avatar
    Nice story potato man. My dad and a few uncles served in the military during peace time so no stories of combat to share here.

    To stick with the topic, one of my unspoken hero's is my late cousin Jimmy. He was a victim of the 911 attacks. Traded commodities on the London Stock Exchange for a company called Carr Futures that was located on the 92nd floor of tower 1. He was only 29.

    Remembering September 11, 2001: James Kenneth Samuel Jr. Obituary
    Updated 07-14-2013 at 04:54 PM by StAugustineFL
  18. PrivateIdaho's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by StAugustineFL
    Nice story potato man. My dad and a few uncles served in the military during peace time so no stories of combat to share here.

    To stick with the topic, one of my unspoken hero's is my late cousin Jimmy. He was a victim of the 911 attacks. Traded commodities on the London Stock Exchange for a company called Carr Futures that was located on the 92nd floor of tower 1. He was only 29.
    Thanks for sharing your story Aug.
  19. StAugustineFL's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by PrivateIdaho
    Thanks for sharing your story Aug.
    You got it spuds. Edited my original post to include a little bio.
  20. FtMyersgal's Avatar
    Nice blog spuds! We owe alot to our soldiers that's for sure. Thanks for sharing Uncle Billy's stories
  21. SQUAWK's Avatar
    Great blog Spuds.

    Not all heroes are in the military.

    Lots of heroics happen daily in all walks of life.

    Fortunately, I am not involved in heroics at the moment.

    Calm and uneventful my life is now and I like it that way.
  22. NavarreMark's Avatar
    A cease fire went into effect in the Korean War effective 60 years ago today.

    Makes me think of my father who served with the 1st Marine Regiment commanded by Colonel Lewis "Chesty" Puller. Chesty was a legend in his own time. A true bad ass. My father always said that if it wasn't for him, none of them would have came home from the Chosin Reservoir campaign alive. It was one of the toughest and most savage battles in modern history fought in below zero tempatures over a frozen North Korean landscape. The 1st Marine Division was surrounded by 22 Chinese Army divisions and destroyed 7 of them fighting their way out.

    My father was there when Chesty gave his speech to the men from atop an ammo crate in which he told them "There are not enough chinamen in the world to stop a fully armed Marine regiment from going where they want to go".

    My father balled like a baby the day Chesty died. My mother said that it was the first and only time she ever saw him cry. Not many Corporals will cry for a Colonel they served under. Thats the kind of leader he was.


    Chesty Puller. Marine Corp legend and genuine bad ass.
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