Ace of the Day: Colonel Billy G. Edens, USAAF (Ret)

BILLY G. EDENS

Colonel, USAAF (Ret)

WWII :: Confirmed Kills- 7

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ACES_Archival_Edens001Billy Gene Edens, born in Cassville, Missouri on January 21, 1923, joined the Army Air Forces on June 27, 1942. After a year in the enlisted ranks, he was accepted as an aviation cadet on May 3, 1943. He took all of his flight training in Alabama – primary training in Decatur, basic at Cortland and advanced at Selma, where he received his wings and commission as a second lieutenant on November 3, 1943.

In April 1944 Lieutenant Edens was assigned to the 62nd Fighter Squadron of the 56th Fighter Group, out of Boxted, England. On June 8, 1944, the 62nd supported bombers attacking Dreux.. On the way back to base Edens came across Luftwaffe fighters taking off from Illiers Airdrome. He pursued an Me-109 which was closing on Blue Leader, Mark Moseley, and exploded it. Soon Moseley again found a Messerschmitt on his tail and again Edens closed, blasting it from 100 yards. On

July 5, Edens downed a FW-190 for his fourth victory, and two days later he became an ace on a “Ramrod” mission to Leipzig. On September 10, his P-47 was shot down near Trier while strafing Seligenstadt Airdrome and he spent the rest of the war as a POW.

Remaining in the Air Force following the war, Edens flew F-84s in Korea and F-100s in the Dominican Republic and Vietnam. He retired from the Air Force as a colonel.

Decorations: Silver Star, Distinguished Flying Cross with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters, Bronze Star, Purple Heart with one OLC and the Air Medal with 15 OLCs

Source: American Fighter Aces Album ©1996

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