39th Bomb Group (VH)


Unit Citation
and Awards

arpuc.jpg [The Presidental Unit Citation]


Service Awards

wwiivic.gif [The Victory Medal, World War II]

Click on the name of the Decoration, Service Award, or Ribbon Device to learn the criteria

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T/Sgt William R. Hayms (Hehe)
Ground Crew Chief

Marcella and William Hayms 1991

The crew knew him as "Bill Hehe" during the war years. Later, he changed his name to Hayms. His hometown was Cincinnati. He had the responsibility of maintaining Crew 44's aircraft on the ground and patching her up after some brutal missions. In his hands, as in the case of all crew chiefs, rested the fate of the crew. With the enormous challenge that a flight crew faced, there was no way they could survive if a crew chief was incompetent or indifferent in his duties. They were working against the clock rebuilding or replacing engines, repairing flak and fighter damage and tending to the countless ills that might plague the aircraft. All of this had to be done in time for the next mission's take off - sometimes a matter of 24 hours!

Hayms always met the challenge, P-44 was always ready to go and though often bruised and battered, she somehow managed to make it home. A large share of the credit for a plane's safe return is due to crew chiefs like Bill Hayms. The men that fly them are the first to enthusiastically agree.

Hayms retuned to Cincinnati after war bearing the stripes of Master Sergeant. He and Marcella exchanged vows shortly thereafter. But their happiness was short-lived. The long grueling, round-the-clock work schedule amid the intense heat and humidity on the ramp on Guam had exacted its toll. Bill learned that he was in advanced stages of tuberculosis. For three years, he spent most of this time in bed recuperating from this dreaded disease. The only bright side was the government picked up the astronomical tab, inasmuch, as his illness was determined to be "service connected."

After Haym's release from the hospital, he became employed as a printer and lithographer.

In October 1991, Lloyd and Faye Volkmar dropped in on the Hayms and renewed old bonds of friendship. Reminiscing their experiences together on Guam consumed a large part of the day.

One thing was agreed upon by all - it was great to get together with their old crew chief - the man who through his competency and dedication, had contributed so much to the safe return of P-44 and its crew.

William R. Hayms (Hehe) passed away 06 Nov 1997

Crew 44 Main Page
62nd Squadron Crew Index
Source: "History of the 39th Bomb Group"