Quantcast

Name of WWII Pilot placed on fighter plane he flew for USS York - Live5News.com | Charleston, SC | News, Weather, Sports

Name of WWII Pilot placed on fighter plane he flew for USS Yorktown

Pilot Bill Watkinson had no idea what was planned for him when he arrived aboard the USS Yorktown. (Source: Live 5) Pilot Bill Watkinson had no idea what was planned for him when he arrived aboard the USS Yorktown. (Source: Live 5)
The type of plane Watkinson flew from the Yorktown will have his name painted on its side. (Source: Live 5) The type of plane Watkinson flew from the Yorktown will have his name painted on its side. (Source: Live 5)
MOUNT PLEASANT, SC (WCSC) -

Visitors to the USS Yorktown Friday witnessed a special honor for a World War II fighter pilot who actually flew missions for the ship.  

Pilot Bill Watkinson had no idea what was planned for him when he arrived aboard the USS Yorktown. It was all a surprise for the 96-year old, who said, he only did what millions of others had done for their country.  

"I don't know what the heck this is all about," Watkinson said.

But he quickly found out. The type of plane he flew performing patrols off the ship, will now have his name appear on it. That's an F6F Fighter Plane, flown by Navy pilots.  

Watkinson flew night patrols for the Yorktown in 1945. 

"Now, that's a pretty tough role when you think about it," Mike Sudzina, Chair of the USS Yorktown Naming Committee, said. "He did everything the other pilots did, but they had to do it at night when they flew their missions."

Watkinson was thrilled by the honor but says he was only doing what so many others did during that time, answer the call of duty. 

"Everybody of my generation is well deserved I'm only one of millions and they all did their part when the country needed them," he said.

One night when he was returning to the ship, he was hit by enemy fire. He landed safely, but once he did, he realized two things. First, there was a hole in the wing of his plane so big his mechanic could stand inside of it, and one of the wheels from his landing gear was blown off.

Yorktown officials say it took special talent to be a Navy Night Fighter.

"One was exceptional eyesight, the other was a steel spine and the other is steel in a few other places on their body," he said. 

Copyright 2018 WCSC. All rights reserved.

  • NEWS LocalNEWSMore>>

  • Parking expansion project begins at Charleston International Airport

    Parking expansion project begins at Charleston International Airport

    Thursday, September 20 2018 6:27 AM EDT2018-09-20 10:27:05 GMT
    The Charleston International Airport remote overflow lot renovations are underway (Source: Charleston County Aviation Authority)The Charleston International Airport remote overflow lot renovations are underway (Source: Charleston County Aviation Authority)
    The Charleston International Airport remote overflow lot renovations are underway (Source: Charleston County Aviation Authority)The Charleston International Airport remote overflow lot renovations are underway (Source: Charleston County Aviation Authority)
    The first phase of the Charleston International Airport parking expansion project has officially begun.  The cell phone waiting and remote/seasonal parking lots are the first to get a facelift which will include more parking to ease the burden when construction begins on the new parking deck in 2019.  The new garage will eventually have 3,000 spaces.  “We knew long ago we needed more parking to accommodate our customers. That has become even more evident recent...More >>
    The first phase of the Charleston International Airport parking expansion project has officially begun.  The cell phone waiting and remote/seasonal parking lots are the first to get a facelift which will include more parking to ease the burden when construction begins on the new parking deck in 2019.  The new garage will eventually have 3,000 spaces.  “We knew long ago we needed more parking to accommodate our customers. That has become even more evident recent...More >>
  • Proposed James Island ordinance would make sleeping, loitering in public areas illegal

    Proposed James Island ordinance would make sleeping, loitering in public areas illegal

    Thursday, September 20 2018 7:54 AM EDT2018-09-20 11:54:04 GMT
    The proposed ordinance would attempt to keep people from sleeping in public (Source: Pixabay)The proposed ordinance would attempt to keep people from sleeping in public (Source: Pixabay)
    The proposed ordinance would attempt to keep people from sleeping in public (Source: Pixabay)The proposed ordinance would attempt to keep people from sleeping in public (Source: Pixabay)

    If the final reading of a proposed James Island ordinance passes on Thursday night, it would prohibit people from loitering outside restaurants, sleeping in parks and make it against the law for people to sleep in their cars or campers in parking lots.  

    More >>

    If the final reading of a proposed James Island ordinance passes on Thursday night, it would prohibit people from loitering outside restaurants, sleeping in parks and make it against the law for people to sleep in their cars or campers in parking lots.  

    More >>
  • AC problems affecting Burke High School

    AC problems affecting Burke High School

    Thursday, September 20 2018 5:45 AM EDT2018-09-20 09:45:09 GMT
    The school first reported the issue at the end of AugustThe school first reported the issue at the end of August
    Tri-County officials are announcing plans for Monday in the aftermath of Florence. (Source: Raycom)Tri-County officials are announcing plans for Monday in the aftermath of Florence. (Source: Raycom)

    One of the 10 air conditioning units at Burke High School isn't working correctly.

    More >>

    One of the 10 air conditioning units at Burke High School isn't working correctly.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly