39th Bomb Group (VH)

Aircrew Member's Badge


dfc.gif [The Distingushed Flying Cross]
airmedal.gif [The Air Medal]

Unit Citation
and Awards

arpuc.jpg [The Presidental Unit Citation]
br_oak2.jpg [Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster]
Oak Leaf Cluster

Service Awards

amcamp.gif [The American Campaign Medal]

apcm.jpg [The Asiatic-Pacfic Campaign Medal]

star1.gif [Bronze Star]

wwiivic.gif [The Victory Medal, World War II]

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S/Sgt Edwin S. Wiley
Radio Operator

Edwin Smith Wiley
1924 - 2003
He was born on November 5, 1924 in Paterson, NJ to Edwin Dodds Wiley and Florence Smith Wiley.

He was married to Nancy Orup.

He was the President of International Veiling Corporation in Clifton, NJ, a Scoutmaster with Boy Scout Troop #160 in Wyckoff, NJ. He served on the Wyckoff Planning Board for 8 years. He was a member of Grace United Methodist Church in Wyckoff, NJ and First United Methodist Church in Winter Park, Florida. He was a member of the University Club and the Regent Club in Winter Park.

Wiley had 2 son, Edwin Orup and David Paul Wiley and 6 grandchidlren - Julia, Emily, Jane, Carolyn, Edwin and Tommy.

The above personal information came from the obituary of Edwin Wiley appearing in the Orlando Sentinel 25 June 2003.


My recalling of those days is not exacting, however a brief reminiscence follows:

One mission that I remember was supposed to be a "milk run." We were to fly in over a long narrow body of water in Japan, bomb a gasoline refinery, make a U-turn and fly back. There was a slight miscalculation on the part of the intelligence department. On the way in we flew over what looked like the entire Japanese fleet and then repeated the process on the way out. The ships fired phosphorus shells, which looked like fleecy white clouds exploding around us. Very dangerous clouds! We were happy to leave with our hides intact.

Our longest mission was a search mission. We were trying to find a crew that was down at sea. We were in the air for almost 19 hours and then we landed on Iwo Jima because we were very low on gas. The airfield on Iwo Jima was an emergency refueling base for damaged or distressed aircraft only. The runway and taxiway was shaped like a protractor. We stayed over night and returned to Guam. That landing was the time we had to land at Iwo and the most eventful part of the mission. Sadly we found nothing.

One time the enlisted men went out digging a ditch on Guam by the side of the road. The gunnery officer drove up and told us to report and wait for orders. After about an hour, an officer that I had never seen before or would ever see again, came into the hut. He was most upset because we were filthy and were in filthy fatigues. We were told to go back to quarters, shower and get into our Class A uniforms. Then we sat at least another hour in briefing. A higher ranking officer appeared and was annoyed that we were in our best uniforms and ordered us back to the barracks to change into clean fatigues. We did so and sat for another hour. Four Star General Spaatz walked in and was disappointed to find us all in one room. He simply wanted to chat with some enlisted men on a casual basis. Tom "Red" Robertson was sitting on an aisle and the General asked him what he thought of his policy that was in force, of announcing to the Japanese, which targets we were going to be bombed next. All I remember was Red sitting there white faced with all his freckles showing. Despite any true feeling about the policy he or the crew might have had, Red, of course agreed with the General.

This was our war, not always serious or dangerous, and for those times when it was not serious or dangerous, I for one, was extremely grateful. We made lasting friendships and served our country.

Edwin S. "Ted" Wiley passed away 24 June 2003 at the age of 78 yrs at St. Anthony's Hospital in Warwick, NY

Crew 37 Main Page
61st Squadron Crew Index
Source: "History of the 39th Bomb Group"; Bernie Greene; Orlando Sentinel