Capt E Royce Williams
Capt E Royce Williams, During his 37-year career in the military, Capt E Royce Williams received a number of awards, including the Silver Star, and was praised for his leadership and piloting skills. He planned and led a successful aerial strike against the North Vietnamese, fiercely fought for proper repatriations of POW/MIAs and helped train a generation of Navy pilots.
But for all his accolades and the lives he touched, what stands out most in his august career are 35 minutes that Williams was forbidden to reveal to anyone – even his wife – for 50 years.
Capt E Royce Williams wanted to follow in the footsteps of his father, a machine gunner in World War I. College wasn’t in the cards. So Williams worked hard to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout – the first in his community – as a way to qualify for the Naval Academy so he could eventually become a naval aviator.
As early as age 11, E Royce Williams dreamed of a military career. That’s around the time he met Camilla “Cammie” Förde, on the first day of Sunday school at a Lutheran church. He still remembers that day, though he says he didn’t know she would be the one until they were juniors in high school. “She sat across from me then. We started playing footsies or something.”
The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor interrupted their courtship. E Royce Williams, 16, answered the call to service by joining the Minnesota State Guard. As soon as he turned 17, he signed up for the naval aviation program and started his career after graduation.
And then there’s this video from YouTube, which I do not own
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