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Biography of Will Armon "Bill" Yates

Waxahachie, Texas

Will Yates was a first lieutenant in the United States Army Air Corps. He joined the Army on April 9, 1941, and in October was transferred to the Army Air Corps. He attended navigation school at Kelly Field, which was located on the southwestern edge of San Antonio. Upon graduation he received navigation-observer wings, and commissioned a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army Air Corps Reserves. He served aboard a B-24 Liberator bomber in the 480th Antisubmarine Group stationed at Casablanca on the Atlantic side of French Morocco in North Africa. His B-24 was credited with sinking a German U-Boat. He was killed returning to base in Casablanca from an aerial mission on September 4, 1943.

He was the son of Mrs. Armon Yates, and the late Mr. Armon Thomas Yates of Waxahachie. He graduated Waxahachie High School, and attended John Tarleton Agriculture College in Stephenville and the University of Texas in Austin. He was a member of the Main Street Christian Church. He was reburied in Waxahachie City Cemetery on Thursday, June 24, 1948. The service was conducted by the Rev. Dick Clayborne, pastor of the Main Street Christian Church in Waxahachie, and the military rites were in charge of the JoVan Marchbanks American Legion Post.

He received the Air Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, and the Distinguished Flying Cross, posthumously awarded and presented to his mother in a ceremony at Love Field in Dallas on July 8, 1944. He is listed on the Waxahachie Daily Light Honor Roll and the Ellis County Veterans Memorial. 

Ellis County Veterans Appreciation Day 2005

The picture and bio information are courtesy of The Honorable Virginia E. Duff, former member of Texas House of Representatives for Ellis County, from Ferris, Texas.

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