Billig, by his AT-6 , 1942
Name Middle Initial:
1008 S SAN REMO AVE
& State: CLEARWATER, FL
Branch: Army Air Corp
319th Bomb Group 437 Squadron
Held In: Stalag Luft 3 and 7A
Long Interned: 939 days
/ repatriated: liberated
at Capture: 24
Received: EUROPEAN CAMPAIGN MEDAL, POW Medal
Job: Army Air Corp., Pilot (B26)
The National Bank Of Blacksburg - Blacksburg, Virginia
after War: Banker
William James Billig - “Jim”
319th Bomb Group 437th Squadron
Jim Billig entered the U.S. Army in early 1941. He was assigned to
Medical Corps at Camp Lee, Virginia and applied for pilot training in
U.S. Army Air Corps.
After being accepted and completing his cadet training he was assigned
His B26 was damaged on its first bomb run and which resulted in a crash
landing in the Netherlands. Jim and crew tried to escape but were
immediately captured by the Germans.
Jim was interned at Stalag Luft III for 2 ˝ years until shortly before
the end of the war where he joined a forced march to Stalag 7A.
While Interned in camp, he was a member of the Escape Committee, forged
papers for escapees, and was a code-user “C.U.”, sending and
receiving coded messages for Military Intelligence. This “CU” was a
top secret operation and was not declassified until the early 1980's.
Jim was liberated at the end of the war April 29, 1945. On return to the
U.S. he pursued a career in banking and rose to the position of
President at the National Bank of Blacksburg, Blacksburg, Virginia. Jim
retired in 1986 and moved to Clearwater Florida. In addition to pursuing
his hobbies, he was a member of the American EX-Prisoners of War and was
Treasure of the Dept. of Florida AX-POW Organization..
Jim’s hobbies were metal & woodworking and flying. As a Member of
the EAA (Experimental Aircraft Association) He personally built and flew
a “Starduster-Too” (open cockpit bi-plane with 180 HP engine, fully
Jim passed away suddenly the 26th of Sept. 1987.
We love him and miss him greatly.
|Message to Future Generations:
Message for future generations - which he often said: "Read history
and learn from it, apply it for the future."
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