Thank you for this history

My father-in-law, Clyde A. Willis, was a member of VMTB-242, and Jake Nevins is my wife’s godfather.

Clyde died at age 96 in 2014. He rarely talked about the war except when something would slip out, but he did mention his tentmate being killed by a Japanese infiltrator on Iwo Jima, getting gigged for flying under the Golden Gate bridge with another pilot, nearly overloading a PBM with cases of whiskey after a furlough in Australia, and a few other choice anecdotes.

I met retired General Dean– formerly Major Dean of the squadron–when he took as job as VP of development for the University of Texas of the Permian Basin. He was aloof and unfriendly then, too. I mentioned the connection and he looked distant for a moment then said “Willis? ah, yes, I remember Willis,” then turned away and walked off.” So much for Esprit ‘d Corps.

Attending the Iwo Jima reunions with him was a great honor and privilege, especially when their reunion merged with a reunion for survivors of the USS Indianapolis.

May all these honored dead rest in peace with the eternal gratitude of our nation, and light perpetual shine upon them!

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