Edmund H. Tooley, III
U. S. Army Air Corps
WWII US Military
Dates of Service: 01/14/1942 - 01/1947
Pilot: P-40, P-47, P-51, 51st Fighter Group, 14th Air Force

He was born in New Orleans' Charity Hospital. His father was chief clerk for New Orleans Public Service. As a youngster Edmund worked for Western Union and on summer jobs with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers aboard a quarter boat, a vessel used for housing employees. He graduated high school in 1939 and then enrolled at Louisiana State University. While waiting to go into service, Edmund worked for the telephone company as a lineman. Entering the U.S. Army Air Forces, he received his wings on October 9, 1942. He went through instructor's school at Greenville, Mississippi, and then opened a new basic flying school at Walnut Ridge, Arkansas. He married in October of 1943. Shortly after their son was born on August 3, 1944, Edmund flew overseas on a C-54 to Karachi, India. He was assigned to the 25th Fighter Squadron, 51st Fighter Group, 14th Air Force, flying P-40s and P-51s out of Yunnanyi, China. His job was to support the Chinese forces. "Right before I got there they were flying five to ten missions a day," he says. Among his missions, Edmund also escorted B-25s and took out "targets of opportunity." He loved the P-51. "It's the greatest airplane of that era," he says. "It had speed, maneuverability, altitude." The war ended before Edmund reached fifty missions. He sailed home on a Liberty ship, Marine Raven, in September of 1945. Edmund was sent to an instructor post at San Marcos, Texas and then left active duty in January of 1946. Back in New Orleans, he returned to the telephone company as a lineman. "I got out as a major and there I was as a linemen, like a grunt in fact," he says. Edmund remained in the reserves, while becoming a junior engineer with the company. He was transferred to Shreveport as an equipment engineer, later rising to district engineer. He retired in 1985.