Jesse F. Payne - thank you for your service!

J.F. Payne, taken in 1944Here are some photos of my dad when he was a participant in WW2, aka World War II, the last war this country fought with everything we could throw. He passed away several years ago, and was buried with military honors.

taken in Amchitka, in the Aleutina islands of AlaskaThis first picture (on the left) is the standard dignified at rest pose taken of soldiers in uniform, in which he appears with uniform neatly pressed, probably sometime in late 1944. That could be a barracks behind him, but I can't be sure. I'm not even sure where it was taken, but it says 1944 on the back. Uh, the back of the picture, not the back of the barracks.

Now in this second picture (on the right), he's a little more at rest, wearing "fatigues" in Amchitka, in the Aleutian islands in 1943. That's Alaska, for those of you who haven't studied geography lately, and it's cold there. Note the bulky appearance of the clothing: as many layers as will fit in the costume.

The guys there built their own runway in the effort to protect the USA's west coast from the Japanese. Seems to me they did a pretty good job, since Disneyland is still there.

wheels, dude -- just how cool can you look?In the third picture (below left), we see the set of wheels he was allowed to play in as a reward for being good in the military. We don't have an exact date for the picture, and I only recently found out what kind of airplane he's leaning on -- I am told it's a B-29 -- but he was the navigator, which means he looked at the stars and figured out where they were and where they were going and when to turn left. Airplanes don't get very good mileage, but they're great for picking up chicks. (Mom had been an airplane mechanic at the time, you see).

Old Dad had some pretty good stories left in him, and I managed to visit him with an mp3 recorder, so he could relate some of the more interesting war stories. Scroll down and you'll see some links. Depending on how your browser is set up to play mp3 files, you should be able to enjoy them.

Dad passed away on the morning of  4.29.2008, less than two weeks before his 87th birthday. We treasure the stories he told, and we are all grateful for his service.


This one was taken in Anson, TX:

Here are some stories my dad told about the war:

01 GI Soap.mp3
02 Telephone Race.mp3
03 P40 Out of Fuel.mp3
04 First Combat Mission - stuck controls.mp3
05 PBY Crews.mp3
06 Schrapnel Stopped at the Lining.mp3
07 Paramashiro and the Stuck Bombs.mp3
08 Piper Cub Hours.mp3
09 Fuel Leak.mp3
10 Saipan - Mercy Flights.mp3
11 No parachuting.mp3
12 How I met Maxine.mp3

(c) 2006 William Payne, all rights reserved

For some of the patches he wore during his service in the Air Force, click here.