Veterans Page

Current Mailing Address

21 Clearview Drive
Stafford Springs, CT  06076

Phone: 860-208-3095

Welcome: We would like to announce our new name & location. The American Museum of Aviation, an Organization Dedicated to Preserving Aviation History, is now moving to Fabulous Las Vegas, NV. We feel this location is an ideal spot for displaying American Aviation History. The amount of travelers and tourists through Las Vegas will bring more visitors of all ages. The move will be completed by late summer of 2011. For more information please save our new web address.

Prop-Liners of America is now a Division of the American Museum of Aviation, Inc.
Email Us

American Museum of Aviation, Inc.
is a 501 ( c ) 3 non-profit organization

Tax ID # 31-1627202

Greg Heilman

My father is deceased. His full name was Raymond A. Heilman JR. but everyone called him “Bud”, he did not like JR. He enlisted in the 11th Field Artillery Battery C in 1937 and was stationed at Schofield from 1937 until 1940.

On March 15 of 1940 he was Honorably Discharged from the 11th F.A. and he immediately re-enlisted in the Army Air Corp. He did this at the same desk on the same day.

He became a member of the 11 BG H the 42 Sq. and was now stationed at Hickam. From March 1940 until September 1945 he then served with the Army Air Corp achieving the rank of Tech. Sgt. as an Armorer 911 (P).  He was at Hickam on December 7, 1941 and then went with the 11 BG H the 42 Sq. into the Pacific in June of 1942. During that time he was serving both as the Armorer 911 and a waist gunner on a B-17. The crew he flew with flew into the mountain at Hawaii trying to land in bad weather on Easter Sunday 1942. They lost two planes that day by not turning the landing field lights on because someone still feared Japanese would return. He had not gone out with them or he would have been gone too.

He fought with the 42 Air Corp at Midway, Santos, Guadalcanal, and the Solomon Islands. In the book “One Damned Island After Another” published in 1946 it explains the 42 Sq. was the only US Military Service to be recommended for the Presidential Unit Citation by another branch, the US Navy. They were under the command of the Navy until they lost every B-17 they went out with and their crews. On February 1, 1943 they sent out their last three B-17s and one from the 72 Squadron. The three from the 42 Sq. were shot down over the ocean; the planes and crews were never seen again. The one from the 72 Sq. crash-landed on a beach.

My father and what was left were brought back. He then trained the drafted replacements and enlistments at Hickam to go back into the Pacific.  There is no one left of the original 42 Sq. but I have spoken recently to three men my father trained in 1943.

 My mother is struggling with cancer. Last fall she gave me all my fathers’ items and that is when I started searching for people who might have served with him. I joined the 11 BG H Associations and Phil who is Sec./Treasurer sold me a book they put out years ago. It is called “Grey Geese Calling”. Phil also lost his brother on the last flight on February 1, 1943.

I was looking at the book and one of the photos seemed familiar. I looked through my father’s things and he had a copy but his has most of the names on the back. He had always done that; he is “Bud” sitting in the front row with the helmet at his feet.

Sincerely yours,
Gregg S. Heilman

Son of Tech Sgt. Raymond A. Heilman, JR.
11 TH Field Artillery 1937-1940
Schofield Barracks

7 TH AAC 11 BG H 42 Sq. 1940-45
Hickam Survivor 12/7/1941
USAAC Armorer (P) 911
Presidential Unit Citation 1942

A photographic history of T/Sgt Raymond A. Heilman, JR.