left to right: Bill Hembree, Joe Dobronski, and Ken Burrows NAS Pensacola. August 1947

PBY group photograph  NAS Pensacola, Florida  1948. back row (left to right): Puckett (Officer), Fox (Officer), Dupree (LCDR), Ben Bayse, J. W. Reed, Bill Murphy, Davenport, Cecil Sapp (Cadet), Joe Dobronski, Jack Dewenter, Mark Bitter (Cadet), L. C. Warren, Ernie Schorz. front row (left to right): Genetti, Little Head Brown, Gene Grant, Bill Hembree, Stafford (Cadet), Leavitt, Ken Burrows, Jim Alley (Cadet), Anderson (Cadet), Noff    [Those with rank not noted are Aviation Midshipmen]

Letter to “Tail Hook Association”

August 8, 1991

I can't challenge George [Bush] for first place as being the youngest designated Naval Aviator, but it looks like I have a pretty solid claim to third place (still in the money).

I am enclosing a copy of my N.A. card showing I was 19 years and 6 months old (exactly). I was a flying midshipman under the Holloway plan.

Really enjoy the "Hook".


/s/ W. L. Hembree

Ottumwa, Iowa, Pre-Flight Class 9-46 (# 147 Midshipman)