Lt. June "Bruce" Stallings,
better known as "Skeeter," served his
country as the pilot of a P-51 fighter plane in
the European theatre of war from Jan. 1, 1945 to
March 21, 1945 when he was killed in combat while
strafing a German jet airbase in Germany and was
posthumously awarded the Purple Heart and Air Medal.
Bruce was graduated from Grainger
High School in June of 1941 and attended North Carolina
State College in Raleigh where he was a student
in engineering. He enlisted in the Army Air Corps
while in college and was called into active service
in February 1943. Lt. Stallings received his wings
at Craig Field, Ala., April 15, 1944, and was offered
an instructors' job after receiving his commission.
He refused for overseas duty.
Christmas Day, 1944, Bruce left
Punta Gorda, Fla., and on Jan. 1, 1945, left the
states for England with the 8th Air Force under
General James Doolittle, Third Division, 38th Fighter
Even while flying everyday in combat,
he was thinking of others. He wrote home, not about
himself, but of the suffering children of France
and England who were without food, clothes or parents'
care or protection. The last few months before leaving
his station at Punta Gorda, he was closely identified
with the Methodist Church and the Young People's
Questions out of letters from friends
and the pastor there gave witness to the life he
lived at Punta Gorda. "It seems so dreadful
that the finest boys are taken away when the world
needs them so much. Bruce has left a lovely memory
in Punta Gorda and his influence for the good things
in life will go on throughout the years."
From the pastor at Punta Gorda Methodist
Church: "What I say I say for all the young
people of our church who loved Bruce so. He was
indeed an inspiration to us all. Bruce will ever
be remembered by us as a fine Christian young man
whose life was a benediction. We have bought an
altar for the worship center with money given by
Bruce. When the altar is completed we shall have
on it a placard in memory of Bruce."
June B. Stallings' courageous devotion to duty and
outstanding flying ability reflected great credit
upon himself and the Armed Forces of the United
States and his superiors.