Bill N. Redmon (1945/07/31)
"Four months after he had gone to the Pacific, and less than three weeks before cessation of hostilities, Lieutenant Bill Redmon took off in his B-25 on a mission that proved to be some place 'Beyond the Blue Horizon'," noted a Santa Cruz Riptide news article.
Bill N. Redmon was born in Iowa on September 23, 1917, to Mr. and Mrs. George Redmon. In addition to Bill, the other Redmon children included sons George and John and daughters Mary Lou, Jane, Betty and Lois. After he had completed high school in about 1934, Bill moved with his family to Santa Cruz. Upon his arrival he was employed by the Coast Counties Gas and Electric Company and remained with that utility firm for nine years.
In the early 1940s Bill Redmon married Natallia Music of Santa Cruz. The year 1943 found the Redmons living in Contra Costa County, where he was working in a clerical capacity, when their daughter Eileen was born.
In March 1943, Bill Redmon enlisted in the Army Air Corps and after basic training, was sent to Merced, California for cadet training. This was followed, in 1944, by advanced instruction at Luke Field, Arizona. In June of that year he earned his wings as a B-24 Liberator pilot and a commission as a second lieutenant.
In April 1945, Lt. Redmon was sent to the Philippines to join the 345th Bomb Group of the 5th Air Force. Luzon served as his home base for bombing missions on Okinawa and Japan. On July 31, 1945, Second Lieutenant Bill N. Redmon was sent on what would be his final mission. His commanding officer later described that mission in a letter to Bill's wife.
“Bill was the co-pilot of a B-25 Mitchell type airplane which was participating in an operational mission against the enemy over Marushima, Kyushu, Japan, on 31 July, '45. As Bill and his crew were making their bombing and strafing run over the target, his plane was suddenly hit by enemy anti aircraft fire, causing the left engine to catch fire as he pulled off the target and headed toward the sea. Witnesses state that his plane ditched about five miles off shore in Vatsushiro bay the plane broke apart on ditching and almost instantly the entire plane was alive with flames. Your sorrow may be lessened by the knowledge that he was spared from suffering, and that death came instantly.”
The remains of Bill Redmon were recovered and interred in the Golden Gate National Cemetery at San Bruno on February 15, 1950.
(NARA2, USDVA; SCSn April 16, 1944 4:6, August 15, 1945, September 6, 1945 5:1, SCR August 17, 1945)