William Goodman Parsons was born on October 22, 1919, in Garden City, NY. His father, Argyle, was 39 and his mother, Eleanor, was 35. He had three brothers and one sister. In Rye the family lived on Guion Road and were members of Christ's Church. William attended Pawling High School and Graduated in 1936. Before the war he was working for Kenyard and Ekhardt in New York City. William enlisted and served as an officer in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II.
First Lieutenant William Parsons U. S. Army Air Corps - 27th Fighter Squadron, 1st Fighter Group, Air Medal with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters, Purple Heart
William was a member of the distinguished 27th Flying Squadron flying Lockheed P-38 Lightnings. Six months of continuous combat in North Africa was followed by a short break, flying reconnaissance and escort missions around the Mediterranean. The respite ended on 15 August 1943, as air attacks increased against southern Italy in preparation for landings at Salerno. On 25 August, the 1st FG launched 65 P-38s, and joined with 85 other fighters, conducted a fighter-bomber attack against the airfield complex at Foggia. In addition to strafing ground targets, pilots of the 1st FG damaged or destroyed 88 German aircraft, with a loss of two P-38s.
For this mission, the group received its first Distinguished Unit Citation (DUC). Five days later, on 30 August, the 1st Fighter Group earned its second DUC. The group flew 44 aircraft in escorting B-26 bombers to the railroad marshalling yards at Aversa, Italy, and were opposed by approximately 75–100 German fighters. Outnumbered two to one, the group engaged the Luftwaffe for 40 minutes, enabling the bombers to strike their target and return to base without loss, but in doing so lost 13 fighters themselves, with 10 pilots killed.
The 1st Fighter Group became part of the newly created Fifteenth Air Force in December 1943 and moved to Italy, temporarily based at several airfields until its base at Salsola Airfield was ready on 8 January 1944. Living and supply conditions improved for the airmen, who received new P-38Js in the spring.
First Lieutenant William Parsons 27th Fighter Squadron was the top-scoring unit of the 1st Fighter Group in World War II, with 83 of its pilots credited with 176. 5 victories.
William died while his P-38 was shot down escorting a bombing mission attacking the Messerschmitt factory at Regensburg, Germany. He died on February 25, 1944, at the age of 24, and was buried in Brooklyn, New York. He was the youngest of the five Parson children.
Lieut, William G. Parsons, Army Pilot Reported Missing in Action
Lieut. William G. Parsons of the U. S. Army Air Forces has been listed as missing in action. The War Department notified his wife in Oxnard, Calif. , that he was missing after flying a P-38 escort plane in a bombing mission over Austria on February 26.
Lieut. Parsons is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Argyll R. Parsons of Guion Road. To date Mrs. Parsons has received no further word of her son. She is a five star mother having four sons and one son-in-law in the service of her country.
Captain Douglas Van Ness Parsons, brother of Bill, is also in the Air Force, flying a Thunderbolt. He is commanding officer of his squadron and is now stationed in New Guinea. He received recognition recently as a member of an Army unit of fighters and bombers in the Pacific, dubbed the Flying Buzz Saws, and was credited with having shot down one of the Jap planes over Wewak. Previously he was cited for meritorious achievement in the Southwest Pacific aid received the Purple Heart as a result of shrapnel wounds last fall.
Two other brothers include Argyll Parsons, Jr. , who is with the Engineer Corps in England, and Cpl. Ralph Parsons, in the Field Artillery at Camp Campbell, Ky. Their sisters husband, Capt. Harmon J. Bailey, is in the Medical Corps stationed at the Army Base Hospital in Clovis, New Mexico
RYE, NEW YORK FRIDAY, MAY 12, 1944
★ World War II Victory Medal★ Air Medal★ Purple Heart★ American Campaign Medal★ Army Presidential Unit Citation★ Army Good Conduct Medal