and William Hayms 1991
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!
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.
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."
Haym's release from the hospital, he became employed as
a printer and lithographer.
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.
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.