MCDONALD, BILLY WALLACE
MCDONALD, BILLY WALLACE
Rank / Branch:
STAFF SERGEANT E-5, U. S. AIR FORCE
Date of Birth:
Military District 3, Vietnam
Awards & Decorations:
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BILLY WALLACE MCDONALD, STAFF SERGEANT, U.S. AIR FORCE, MARYNEAL, NOLAN COUNTY, TEXAS
AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Air Force Crewman Wings, Purple Heart, Air Medal with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters, Air Force Commendation's Medal, Good Conduct Medal with 4 Bronze Loops, Air Force Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal with 1 Bronze Star, Air Force Longevity Service Ribbon with 2 Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters, Air Force Expeditionary Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal
Billy was born in Sweetwater, Texas. He was the son of James Weldon and Florence McDonald. His family lived in Maryneal, Texas, a small agriculture town southwest of Sweetwater. He attended schools in Nolan,, Texas and last attended Divide High School in 1952. Nolan is another small agricultural community south of Sweetwater.
He dropped out after his junior year and entered the U.S. Air Force, completed basic training at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas and trained as an aircraft mechanic at Sheppard Air Force Base and at Bergstrom Air Force Base in Austin, Texas. He was assigned as a Apprentice Air Craft mechanic at Carswell Air Force Base, Fort Worth, Texas. He was then transferred to Dow Air Force Base in Maine until 1955 and then transferred back to Bergstrom Air Force Base in Austin. He discharged and re-enlisted in 1956 and served at Bergstom until 1962 when he re-enlisted. He received additional training at Sheppard Air Force Base, married Jeanne Marie Stout, his two children were born while stationed at Sheppard.
He was assigned to Tachikawa Air Force Base in Japan on flight status as a flight engineer on a HC-130 on April 9, 1964. On April 6, 1966, he re-enlisted and remained in Japan until May 16, 1967 when he was transferred to Pope Air Force Base in North Carolina and was assigned to the 779th Tactical Airlift Squadron as a flight engineer. He was assigned to Clark Air Force Base in the Philippines on April 2, 1969 and was assigned to the 773th Tactical Air Squadron.His unit was sent on temporary duty to Tans Son Nhut Air Force Base in Saigon.
On June 23, 1969, he was a flight engineer on a C-130, tail number 61-0965. The mission was a resupply flight to the Special Forces base at Katum. While flying at 3000 feet, the aircraft was hit in the port wing area by radar-controlled quad 50 caliber antiaircraft gunfire. The hits caused a fire and engine failure. The C-130 spun into the ground. The entire crew of six men were killed in the crash. Billy's body and three others were recovered shortly thereafter. The other two were not repatriated until 1995.
Billy was buried with full military honors in the Memorial Park Cemetery in Bastrop, Morehouse Parrish, Louisiana. He was awarded the Purple Heart and the Air Force Commendation's Medal posthumously.
Memorial Park Cemetery, Bastrop, Morehouse Parrish, Louisana