George W. Head
U. S. Navy
WWII US Military
PB2Y Pilot, VP13

Born in Hope, Arkansas, George was enrolled in Civilian Pilot Training at Centenary College when America entered World War II. Enlisting in the U.S. Navy in February of 1942, he graduated from naval air training at Pensacola where he flew PBYs. Shipping out in January of 1943 to Pearl Harbor George was placed in a squadron of PB2Ys, which were four-engine, amphibious planes. Assigned as third pilot, George's duties included navigating. From the base at Kaneohe Bay, he flew many types of missions, including patrols to Midway and bombing Wake Island. Once, the aircraft was stripped down and turned into a flying hospital to pick up wounded on Macon Island near Tarawa. Later he flew missions over Kwajalein and Eniwetok. He was stationed on the USS Kenneth Whiting (AV-14) during the Okinawa campaign when a kamikaze plane struck the ship. A few were killed on deck, he recalls. Of his arrival back in America after the war, he says "All the hooraying was over by the time we got back. There was no band to meet us," George recalls. He was discharged in New Orleans in the fall of 1945, but remained in the reserves until 1953, when he left as a lieutenant commander. After graduating from Centenary, he worked for Pittsburgh Plate Glass in New Orleans. George also worked for the Norton family after the war in oil and gas leases and contracts, and then joined Transcontinental Oil, retiring at age sixty-five.