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Roy Allen Kelly, History

I remember when he went off to WWII; he was seen off at the train station by several members of his family, including my mother and me.  I was too young at the time to understand what it was all about, but I recall my mother crying when we got back home.


Uncle Roy went through aerial gunner training at Harlingen Texas (about 20 years later, I would go through navigator training via the Aviation Cadet program at Harlingen AFB).  They were taught the basics of shooting at moving targets on a skeet range; then they moved up to shooting at carts moving on rails across a range; then on to actual aerial training shooting at targets being towed behind an aircraft.


Roy ended up being the nose gunner on a B-24.  He told me a bit about their stateside training, which included flying low-level sorties and shooting at ground targets.  Apparently, they were practicing the tactics that were used in the first low-level B-24 raid on Ploesti, Romania.  Ploesti was bombed many times.  In any case, Roy flew out of Italy; that meant he could have flown sorties against targets ranging from southern France in an arc all the way around to Hungary and Romania.  I have no idea whether or not he received any medals for his service, but I would expect that he got an Air Medal, at least.  Maybe I'll research that.


Roy's personal life was difficult.  He was married three times.  The first wife was Madeline (don't have a surname); they had two daughters:  Joan and Bonnie.  They divorced after the war and Roy moved to Columbia SC, where he met his second wife, Margaret (don't know her surname either).  They had two children:  Allen and Paula.  She divorce him that time.  Last time I saw him was in Springfield IL; I was about to enter Aviation Cadets and start my own life in the military.  He was married a third time by then; don't know her name at all.  When he died, his wife cremated his remains; his ashes are buried in the family plot in Downs IL.

(submitted by Gerald P. Hanner) 

Linked toRoy Allen Kelly (Military)

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