Billy C. Doyle
Lt Col
U. S. A. F.
Pilot/Squadron Commander, 8th Air Force

A native of Fort Worth, Billy is the son of William Weltons Doyle and Hattie D. Clayton Doyle. His father ran a service station, where, Billy recalls, the outlaw Machine Gun Kelly (born George Kelly Barnes) was a customer. Billy attended Technical High School, a vocational school, where he took engineering drafting among other classes. After school he worked at his father's service station and, on Christmas holidays, in the post office sorting mail. After graduating from high school in 1951 he enrolled at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth where he studied geology. He joined ROTC as well as "the flying club" and earned his pilot's license. "By the time I soloed I knew that flying was it for me," he remarks. Upon graduating in 1955 he received his commission as a second lieutenant and entered the U.S. Air Force. He reported to Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio for four weeks, then completed primary training at Bainbridge Air Force Base in Bainbridge, Georgia, where he was first in his class to solo. At Vance Air Force Base in Enid, Oklahoma he entered B-25 training, then added navigator and radar bombardier skills in Aircraft Observer School (AOB) at James Connally Air Force Base in Waco, Texas. He finished training in September of 1956 and reported to Barksdale Air Force Base in Bossier City, Louisiana, where he was assigned to the B-47. On April 11, 1958 he married Linda Shelton. (They would have two children and four grandchildren.) He was based at Chennault Air Force Base at Lake Charles, Louisiana for two years, then underwent B-52 training at Castle Air Force Base in Merced, California. After another year at Barksdale, he completed Command and Staff College at Montgomery, Alabama, then reported to Offutt Air Force Base in Minot, North Dakota, where he flew B-52s for four years. He was sent to Guam as chief of the air traffic control division for two years, and also served as manager of B-52 crews in Southeast Asia. In 1971, at his next duty station, U-Tapao Air Force Base in Thailand, he served as a mission director. He also flew on a few missions and one time was "shot at". "Those three shells missed so far my heart didn't skip a beat," he recalls. "I said, `In all honesty, it's kind of hard to say I was ever in real combat if I wasn't scared.'" While overseas, he kept in touch with Linda by letter, telephone, ham radio, and cassette tapes. After a year at U-Tapao Billy returned to Barksdale, where he retired in 1975 as a lieutenant colonel. He attended Louisiana State University-Shreveport, and earned a master's degree in human relations and supervision. He spent a year with the state department of emergency medical services, then worked for Aetna for eight years as a safety consultant.