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Second Lieutenant William Lloyd Queen
U. S. Army Air Forces

November 9, 1917 - December 24, 1943

Gold Star Mother
Mary Francis Duncan Queen

Palacios High School Memorial


Last week the Beacon carried in the column "With Our Men in the Service" an interesting item about one of our boys, Lt. Wm. L. Queen, sent us from the War Department at Washington, and this week we chronicle the news of his tragic death.

This sad message was received in Palacios the first of the week by John F. Queen, from Washington, D. C. stating his son Lt. Wm. L. Queen was killed when his plane crashed in Italy on Dec. 24, 1943.

Lloyd as we knew him, graduated from the Palacios High School with the class of '37 and was one of the first to enlist for service. His early duties were in the Panama Canal Zone, but later joined the AAF and received his training at Moore Field.

He was a pilot of a P-47 Thunderbolt fighter plane which made their first appearance in the Mediterranean theater protecting B-17 Flying Fortresses on a raid in Italy.

Previous to that he was a P-40 Warhawk Pilot and a member of the group which made a sensational record in Tunisian, Sicilian, Sardinian and Pantellerian campaigns.

Palacios Beacon, Thursday, February 17, 1944


Named For William Lloyd Queen Who Was Killed In Italy

      Sgt. Warren W. Bybee, Camp Hulen, Deputy Chief of Staff of Texas of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, organized and was elected commander of Post 2467, at a meeting at the Chamber of Commerce building Monday night.

      The Post has been named after 2nd Lt. William Lloyd Queen, son of John Queen of this city, who lost his life in Italy, December 24, 1943.

      Dr. D. S. Myers, of San Benito, Department Commander V.F.W. of Texas was the instituting officer.

 Officers elected Monday night were Sergeant Bybee, commander; Mr. John Henderson, Blessing, Sr. Vice-Commander; Phil Fields, Jr., Vice-Commander; Kirk Harter, Blessing, Post Advocate; Guy Claybourn, Post Quartermaster; Crawford S. Sledge, Camp Hulen, Post Adjutant; Geo. L. Hunter, Chaplain; Robert E. Terry, Surgeon; Bennie Jensen, 1 years, Ted Fields, 2 years, and T/Sgt. T. Haselden, 3 years Trustees.

      The complete charter of officers will be announced later.

Palacios Beacon, Thursday, March 23, 1944


One year ago, December 24th 1943, William Lloyd Queen was killed during the Italian campaign after participating in more than 30 missions and with 195 hours of pursuit flying to his credit. On March 20, 1944, the Lt. William Lloyd Queen Post of the Veterans of Foreign Wars was organized here and named in his honor.

Alton S. Queen, brother of Lloyd, at the request of Sgt. Warren Bybee, former commander and organizer of the post, wrote a history of Lloyd's boyhood days and his service in the armed forces. For the many friends of Lloyd's we print this article written by his brother, who is now serving in Belgium, and handed us by his father, John Queen:

Lloyd was among the first of local boys to enter the service, enlisting May 24, 1939, at Ft. McDowell, California. He was immediately stationed at Fort Lewis, Washington, as a member of Co. L 15th Infantry. There he qualified in rifle marksmanship, making the regimental rifle team and was promoted to private first class.

After serving one year and four months in the Infantry there Lloyd applied for foreign service and was transferred to the Air Corps. He was assigned to Hdq. & Hdq. squadron, 15th Air Base, Allbrook Field, Panama Canal Zone, Oct. 9, 1940. On April 17, 1941 he made corporal and September 16, 1941 was promoted to the grade of sergeant.

On March 3, 1942 Lloyd appeared before the aviation cadet examining board in the Canal Zone and was accepted. He returned to the States and began his training at Kelly Field in May, receiving his pilot wings Dec. 13, 1942 at Moore Field, Texas. His tactical training was taken at Dale Mabre Field, Tallahassee, Fla.

Lloyd went to North Africa in March, 1943, as a Curtis Warhawk P-40 pilot and took part in the Tunisian, Sicilyian, Sardinian, and Palermoian campaigns.

Shortly before his move from Tunisia to an Italian mainland base late in November he received a new type plane, the highly touted P-47 Thunderbolt, the fastest single engine fighter that flies. The Beacon received a war department item stating Lloyd was one of the pilots who was flying P-47's when they made their initial raid over Italy. They were escorting B-17 Flying Forts. It also stated that he was a member of the P-40 outfit that made a very outstanding record in the North African campaign.

Shortly before his death, while on one of the longest missions in which he had participated, he was forced to make a crash landing. While returning to his base flying over high mountains and fighting a severe windstorm he ran out of fuel, and as Lloyd wrote his brother, 'With Lady Luck in my hip pocket I bellied in on an old plowed field without injury to myself and little to my baby.'

He told how he was immediately surrounded by natives, whom he was glad to find friendly, and how royally he was accepted in the nearby village while he waited transportation from his base. When he returned he learned the entire flight had run out of fuel and had grounded within a 50-mile radius of him.

Lloyd was born in Southwestern Oklahoma, but spent most of his life in Palacios, coming here in 1924. As a lad he was active in Boy Scout work, serving under the capable leadership of George L. Hunter, Scoutmaster, who was very instrumental in organizing the post in honor of Lloyd.

Lloyd, known as "Little Snags" among his schoolmates, was an average student in school and an outstanding athlete, winning the Palacios High School Alumni award for the best all-round athletic performance over four years of competition. He lettered four years in football, four years in track and one year in basketball. He was tri-captain with Richard "Ox" Sanders and Chester Barrett of the '36 football team. As a member of two district championship football teams Lloyd played 60 minutes in each game, although one of the lightest men on the football club.

Lloyd was Matagorda County 440 yard dash champion his last two years in high school, running the distance his senior year in 52.1 seconds. He was a member of the mile relay team that took county and district honors. On the team were Bonard Hamlin, T. E. Dickerson, Chester Barrett and Lloyd. T. E. drowned accidentally a few years ago while Bonard and Chester are in the service.

After finishing high school in the class of '37 Lloyd spent 18 months in CCC at Globe, Ariz. Lloyd attained the rank of Life Scout in Boy Scout work, had 21 months service in CCC, and exactly four years and seven months service in the U. S. Army at the time of his death. As a member of the Armed Forces Lloyd saw service in California, Washington State, Oregon, Canal Zone, Florida, New York, North Africa, Sicily and Italy. His foreign service consisted of participation in Tunisian, Sardinian, Sicilian and Palermoian campaigns. He visited Casablanca, Algers, Tunis and other points of interest in Africa. He also saw Bob Hope's troupe when it toured North Africa. He was killed one year and 11 days after receiving his wings.

One of Lloyd's tent mates in North Africa was Edsel Paulk. They were in the same Boy Scout patrol here in 1932. Their meeting marked the second coincidental meeting of the two lads in their lifetime. Two years after they were in the same Boy Scout troop in Palacios, Lloyd was hitch-hiking through Vernon, Texas, and met Edsel on the street as he was walking through town. It was the last time they saw each other until they met in the same tent at a North African Air Base."

John Henderson, of Blessing, is commander of the Lt. William Lloyd Queen Post of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, since the transfer of its organizer, Sergeant Bybee, to the Ashburn General Hospital.                                                                 

 Palacios Beacon, January 11, 1945

Reburial Services Held Wednesday For Lloyd Queen

Reburial services of Lt. Wm. Lloyd Queen, killed in Italy December 24, 1943, were held at the First Methodist Church Wednesday afternoon, Rev. Lawrence Greenhaw, Pastor, conducting the services.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars Post of Palacios, named in honor of Lloyd, were in charge of graveside services. Appropriate tribute was paid the departed veteran including placing symbolic wreaths, complete firing squad performance, present of flag draped about the casket and Taps. The ladies sextet sang “Sleep Soldier Boy,” the VFW memorial song. The pall bearers were Richard Sanders, George Johnson, Bernard Jensen, Sterling Barrett, Merle Ramsey, and John Ressler, all of whom were football teammates of the deceased.

Lloyd Queen was born November 9, 1917, at McQueen in Southwestern Oklahoma. HE came with his father to Palacios in 1924 and graduated from Palacios High School with the class of ’37.

He was active in athletics throughout his four years in high school, lettering in football four years, track four years and basketball two years. He placed on two district championship football teams and was elected Tri-captain of the ’36 football team with Richard Sanders and Chester Barrett. He won the high school award his senior year for the best all-around athlete in school.

As a lad he was active in the Boy Scouts, was a patrol leader in Troop 40 and attained the rank of Life Scout.

After finishing school here, Lloyd spent 18 months in the CCC at Globe, Arizona, then entered service May 24, 1939. He was stationed at Fort Lewis, Washington, with Co. L 15th Infantry and served with that outfit for 15 months. After applying for foreign service, he was transferred to the Air Corps and stationed at Albrook Field in the Canal Zone. As an enlisted man he reached the rank of sergeant.

After receiving his appointment as Aviation Cadet, Lloyd was sent to Kelly Field, San Antonio, to begin ground school in April, 1942. Trained at Kelly, Ballinger and Goodfellow Fields and received his pilot wings at Moore Field, Texas, December 13, 1942.

He was ordered overseas in March, 1943, and was sent to North Africa as a member of the 325 Fighter Group, 317 Fighter Squadron flying a P-40 Curtis Warhawk. This group was later converted to a P-47 outfit. According to a War Department letter received here for publication Lloyd was one of the pilots flying P-47’s in their initial aid over Italy, escorting B-17 Flying Forts. He participated in the Tunisian, Sicilian, Sardinian and Palermonian campaigns. At the time of his death he had 407 hours and 10 minutes of pursuit flying time to his credit.

Lloyd was preceded in death by his mother who died in Oklahoma in 1923 and his father, John F. Queen in 1946.

Surviving are three sisters, Mrs. Reagen Hamlin of Palacios, Mrs. D. D. Carter of Palacios, and Mrs. Brooks Merrel of Velasco; one brother Alton Queen of Palacios; one aunt, Mrs. G. E. Harris of Houston; seven uncles, Austin Queen of Houston, Arthur Queen of Freeport, W. S. Queen of Port Arthur, W. A. Queen of Sacramento, Calif., James J. Duncan of Oklahoma City, Okla., S. S. Duncan of Tulsa, Okla., and J. W. Duncan of Dallas, Texas.

The Palacios Beacon, March 17, 1949


Cottonwood Cemetery

near Duke, Oklahoma

John F. Queen

Last rites for John F. Queen were held Friday afternoon at 2 o'clock from the Palacios Funeral Home with C. F. Connor, pastor of the Church of Christ at Lovelady the officiating minister.

Mr. Queen was born in Arkansas, March 10, 1880 and died in Palacios, April 11, 1946 following an illness of several weeks.

He had been a resident of Palacios for the past twenty years, had a large circle of friends who regret his passing.

Four children survive, three daughters, Mrs. Edna Hamlin, Mrs. Opal Carter, Palacios; Mrs. Connie Merrill, Freeport, and one son, Alton S. Queen of Palacios. A younger son, Lt. Wm. Lloyd Queen, was killed in action Dec. 22, 1943.

Other survivors are one sister Mrs. Francis Harris, Houston; four brothers, W. A. Queen, Sacramento, Calif.; W. S. Queen, Port Arthur; C. A. Queen, Houston, and A. C. Queen, Freeport; several grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

The Palacios Beacon, April 18, 1946

Photos of William Lloyd Queen courtesy of Mrs. Edna Hamlin.


Copyright 2006 - Present by Carol Sue Gibbs
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Jan. 30, 2006
Jun. 26, 2011