LT. JAMES D. BILLO, USNR, (1920 – 2010) participated in most of the Pacific Campaigns from Guadalcanal to Guam. President Roosevelt presented him with the Distinguished Flying Cross for his heroism and extraordinary achievement. He claimed his first victory in the Battle of Santa Cruz when he exploded a Zero on October 26, 1942, while flying an F4F Wildcat off the USS Enterprise with VF-10. Later in that same flight, he teamed up with a Hornet pilot and harassed a group of Vals low on the water coming off their bombing runs. Billo splashed two of the Vals and the was hit and had to ditch at sea. He was picked up by a destroyer and returned to his sheep some three weeks later.
On his second combat tour, Billo was assigned to VF-18 flying F6F Hellcats from the USS Bunker Hill. On November 11, 1943, during a strike on Rabaul, his division of four planes encountered a group of Zekes at altitude. During the air battle that followed, Billo shot down two Zekes.
One page, ALS, 8 1/2 x 11, Feb. 16, 1977, Billo writes to his friend Joe: “I’ll bet your Aces autograph collection started with another Roseburg resident, the great Marine Ace Marion Carl. We are both Oregon State grads and I had my first helicopter ride with Carl fifty years ago in Patuxent River Test Station, Maryland.
“Re models. For many years I had A/C models all over my home, F4F, F6F, F7F, FAU, etc. My wife rebelled on dusting the damn things and I put a few in storage & dumped the rest. My sole model now is one a grandson built and gave me – The Mz1/D21. Familiar with that one? I spent about 20 years in Engineering Flight Test at Lockheed with a few years on the blackbirds in the Skunk Works. Quit all that twenty-five years ago to take up fishing, traveling, reading and anything not involving work.
“Thank you for your interest and your included postage. I have several requests pending which I have delayed answering because of no SASE. Maybe your donation will get a couple of them moving.
Everything we sell is guaranteed authentic forever to the original buyer. We also offer a 30-day return policy. If you discover a problem or are dissatisfied with an item, please contact us immediately. Our goal is to please every customer. We are pleased to be members of The Manuscript Society, Universal Autograph Collectors Club, The Ephemera Society, the Southern New England Antiquarian Booksellers and the Preferred Autograph Dealers and Auction Houses. [WW 2- 111]