NEWS | June 10, 2015

Local WWII veteran shares experiences

By Capt. Brian Walker 437th Airlift Wing

In advance of the 70th anniversary of D-Day, Lt. Col. (Ret.) William Tuxworth, United States Air Force, joined the more than 30 Joint Base Charleston personnel for lunch June 4, 2015 at the Charleston Club on JB Charleston, S.C.

He shared many of his personal stories from his 27 year military career starting in the Army Air Corps and continuing into the Air Force.

Tuxworth was drafted in 1943 and took part in the D-Day invasion as an Army Air Corps navigator/bombardier aboard a B-17. When asked about his thoughts while going on his first bombing as an 18 year old, Tuxworth replied, "The airplane went up and I went with it, so I didn't think about anything except doing my job."

Later in the war, he was deployed to Italy as part of the 840th Bomb Squadron, 483rd
Bombardment Group still flying in B-17s. Tuxworth and his unit engaged in long-range strategic bombing missions targeting enemy military, industrial and transport targets in Italy, France and Germany. Explaining that bombers were always grateful for fighter escort protection during their lengthy bombing missions, Tuxworth praised the 322nd Fighter Group, the Tuskegee Airmen, "They were excellent. They were always there and on time."

Tuxworth continued his career in the Air Force after the war, flying in other aircraft including the B-47 and the B-52 until retiring in 1969.

During lunch, Tuxworth discussed many of his military experiences, including his squadron's traditions, missions flown and training needed to be a bombardier. 

"I really enjoyed Lt. Col. Tuxworth's stories," said Master Sgt. Adam Mattson, 17th Airlift Squadron. "It is great for our Airmen to be able to look back at our heritage to see where today's Air Force came from."

Tuxworth, who celebrated his 90th birthday in December 2014, summed up his time in the Air Force simply, "I enjoyed every minute of my time and would do it all over again if I could."