Jay R. Gammill, Jr.
Senior Master Sgt
U. S. A. F.
WWII US Military
Flight Engineer, 375th Troop Carrier Group, 55th Troop Carrier Sq

Jay R. Gammell was born in 1923 in Shreveport, Louisiana to Jay R. Gammell, Sr. and Helen Lucille Anderson Gammell. His grandfather, Oscar Eldritch Gammell helped build the KCS rail from Kansas City to New Orleans using Fresno scrapers. During the Depression he also worked for the Works Progress Administration. His mother died when he was ten years old. In 1942 he made the decision to enter the Air Force and was sent to Fort Beauregard for basic training and then on to Bowman Field at Louisville. At Whiteman Field, Missouri, he was assigned to the 55th Troop Carrier Squadron and flew C-47s later being deployed to Brisbane on the Lurline. His group, the 55th Troop Carrier Group and the 375th Troop Carrier Squadron were on board the ship. They served at Finschhafen, Dobodura, Nadzab, Lae, and Solamoa Islands. While he served as the flight engineer and took care of the mechanical problems on the C-47s, he also helped the nurses load the injured who had been fighting the Japanese at Guadalcanal. He was stationed at Nabzab in New Guinea and flew the C-46s when they went to the Philippines, flying supplies and the wounded in Luzon. After leaving the Philippines, the squadron began delivering supplies to Okinawa. Jay met his future wife, Hazel Abney, in Sunday school at First Methodist when he was about six years old and they dated in high school. While he was overseas, she was working for the Navy in Indiana. He returned home in 1945 and he and Hazel were married on November 1st, 1945 and he was stationed at Barksdale Air Force Base. He retired as senior master sergeant in January of 1969. After retirement, he began volunteering in the medical records at Barksdale Air Force Base and then at First Methodist Church in Shreveport. In 1985, he began working as the music librarian at the church. Hazel passed away in 2008. He and Hazel have one son, two grandchildren and two great grandchildren.