Billy Bob Reese was eighteen when he joined the Army Air Corps in 1942. He was to grow up fast.
As and ariel gunner, Reese flew bombing missions over Italy, Germany and Rumania. During a June 1944 bombing mission over Munich, a bullet hit Reese's nose turret sending metal into his head. Reese's eyes filled with blood and froze at the 140 below zero temperatures. He thought he was blinded.
Because of the difficulty of reaching the nose turret, Reese wasn't rescued until the plane returned to base in Italy. Today at the age of 82, he bears just a slight scar from his head wound. A Purple Heart and other medals attest to Billy Bob Reese's injury and his valor.