Author-Brian Miller

Helicopter pilot #750, AD1/AP William N. Longley, about to board his HO3S-1 “Igor Beaver” aboard USS Saint Paul (CA-73), on 6 June 1953. He was just over two weeks shy of his 18th birthday when he enlisted in the Navy on December 14, 1942 out of Jacksonville, FL. Enlisting as a Soundman (Sonar Tech), Longley was a plankowner on two different minesweepers during the WWII.

Following WWII, Longley earned an enlisted pilot rating at Corpus Christi, TX in 1947. At the outbreak of Korean War in 1950, the need for helicopter pilots intensified almost overnight. On February 20, 1952, AD1/AP Longley earned his helicopter pilot designation from HTU-1 (now HT-8) at Ellyson Field. At the time of this photo, he was reportedly one of only three enlisted helicopter pilots off Korea.

In 2014, he passed away in Pensacola, FL at the age of 89. From his obituary:

“Before retiring at the rank of Lt. Commander in 1972, Bill had a long and distinguished career as a military pilot with over 11,000 pilot hours. In 1962 he was awarded a commendation of the Streamlined Stork for having flown 27 different types of aircraft, including Fat Albert & Helicopters, between Pensacola and San Diego for a record 600,000 miles in 414 days without incident. It was the highest mileage ever recorded for that time. Bill served as a test pilot for the Naval Rework Facility at N.A.S[?] prior to his retirement. Bill received numerous medals including; (3) Good Conduct, American Theatre Area Ribbon, European African Middle East Ribbon, Air Medal, (2) WWII Victory Medal, Korean Service Medal & United Nations Medal.”