While a student at Rice Institue (now Rice University) I became a member of the United States Army Air Corps Reserve in 1942.
I was called to active duty in the summer of 1943.
My first assignment was to Camp Wolters, Texas for 18 weeks of infantry basic training.
Upon completion of the infantry basic training I was sent to Shepherd Air Base in Wichita Falls, Texas in October, 1943.
In January, 1944 I was transferred to Kearns Air Base in Kearns, Utah.
In June 1944 I was transferred to Kingman Air Base in Kingman, Arizona.
In September 1944 I was transferred to Avon Park Air Base in Florida.
In January 1945, as a member of a new flight crew, I travelled to Savannah, Georgia where my crew picked up a brand new B-17 G bomber.
We flew from Savannah to Prestwick Air Base in Scotland by way of Bangor, Maine; St. John, Newfoundland, Canada; Goose Bay, Labrador; Blue West One, Greenland; and Reykjavik, Iceland.
From Prestwick I travelled to Molesworth, England where I joined the 359th Squadron of the 303rd Bomb Group (H) of the Eighth Air Force.
From Molesworth I flew 32 combat missions over Germany beginning on Saint Valentine Day, February 14, 1945 and ending on May 5, 1945 with VE Day. I flew the first 12 missions as a Staff Sergeant Tail Gunner and I flew my remaining 20 missions as a Flight Engineer on the B-17.
In June, 1945 I flew back across the Atlantic in a B-17 bomber, retracing pretty much the same route I flew going to England, landing at Bradley Air Base in Massachusetts.
From Boston I travelled in a caboose at the end of a troop train to San Antonio, Texas where I began a 30 day furlough.
At the end of my furlough I reported to Santa Ana Air Base in California where I was assigned to begin training as a B-29 Flight Engineer at Amarillo Air Base, Amarillo, Texas.
Almost immediately afte VJ Day I was honorably discharged and returned to Houston to resume my architectural studies.
Upon graduation I was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the United States Air Force Reserve.
When I entered Saint Vincent Archabbey and made my simple profession of vows, the Archabbot required that I resign my commission.
Thank you for your service. I attended St. Vincent College and met my wife there… Our son attends SVC also… I pray very much that the Prayer to St. Michael will be restored after Mass in the church… Waiting and praying for the veil to be lifted. I believe many will be surprised. Peace.
Thank you for your service to country and Mater Ecclesia. Bless God in His faithful servants. I would say it was coincidence, if I believed in coincidence, that you survived so many bombong missions and have such longevity with your wits so sharp. You provide clarity in these confusing times.
I meant to say a singular existence. One that can perpetuate great feelings of doubt depression remorse and regret. However we learn to move forward by the grace of Our Lord.
Thank you for your distinguished service Bishop. I see now that you bring much to our souls based on some of the most daunting experiences a human could have. Thank you for sharing. Many of us come from military backgrounds and have children in the military. It is a si hilarious existence that cannot occur without God.
Thank God for bishops like yourself and I invite you to view my website at http://phaley.faithweb.com to learn more about me. You can also view servi.org to see a nugget of the Faith still being practiced in these times.
PAUL E. HALEY, Lt Col USAF(Ret)
I am impressed with the service record. My father was shot down over Germany on his 21st mission. He was a POW and returned with PTSD which haunted him his entire life.
What an illustrious career you have had. One can see that God certainly had his hand on you for a long time. May He grant you many many more years of blessings as you continue to serve Him in whatever way He deems.