15 April 1921
10 July 1939
87th Squadron 438th
Troop Carrier Group, 314 Squadron 349th Troop Carrier Group
EAME Campaign Medal with Bronze Star, WWII Victory Medal
Douglas began his military career in as an artilleryman, but in
1941 he applied for enlisted flying school training and started training
three weeks after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. He was halfway
through his course when the program was cancelled in 1942 and this
caused him to switch to Glider Pilot Training.
After his training,
Douglas was deployed to Europe as a 2nd Lieutenant in the 87th
Troop Carrier Squadron of the 438th Troop Carrier Group where
he took part in Operation Varsity. He later returned to the US and was
reassigned to the 314th Squadron of the 349th
Troop Carrier Group based at Bergstrom Field, Austin, Texas.
commented, “I was in the last 200
GP's shipped over seas. I had been used to train replacement's.
Hitler had given orders to kill all Prisoners of war, and we were going
to land gliders and paratroopers on all POW camps. We needed 200
more GP's to have enough. When we were not flying gliders, we flew
co-pilot on C-47's, and flew almost every day. I was flown back to
the states to make the Japanese mission, and I got as far as California
and the war was over.”
Since his days as a
Glider Pilot, Douglas worked as a salesman for the US Chamber of
Commerce, Encyclopedia Britannica, Airkem and the Schering Drug
Douglas last flew a
glider in 1946 at an air show in Memphis Tennessee but today plays a
very active part in the WWII Glider Pilots Association, keeping the
Gilder Pilot’s Stories alive and recording their history.