Lt. Commander Jim Billo Autographs, Memorabilia & Collectibles

Born: January 30, 1920 in Portland, Oregon
Biography | show moreshow less
James D. Billo was born 50 Jan. 1920 in Portland, Oregon. He completed two years ol engineering at the University of Portland and another two years at Oregon State prior to entering Naval flight training at Pensacola in 1941. Designated a Naval Aviator in November, 1941, hi' completed carrier qualifications and joined Air Croup Ten when it was formed in 1942.

In two carrier bast'd combat tours he participated in most of the Pacific campaigns from Guadalcanal to Guam acquiring five aerial kills. He got his first Zero in the Santa Cruz Island battle in October, 1942, added a Zero triple over Rabaul, and got a Betty off Makin in November, 1943. At Santa Cruz he got in a little raft time and rejoined his squadron at New Caledonia about two weeks later courtesy of a destroyer, the USS Preston. He flew F4F's in Fighting Squadron Ten under Jimmy Flatley on the USS Enterprise and F6F's in Fighting Squadron Eighteen under Sam Silber on the USS Bunker Hill. He traveled in good AFAA member company with roommate Russ Reiserer and wingman Bill Blair on his first tour and roommate Jim Pearce and wingman Ted Crosby on his second tour.

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