William Boyd Tully
1st Lieutenant, USAF
1st Air Commandos
Top Secret Mission – Operation Farm Gate
Bill Tully was the navigator on a B-26 – the Pilot was Captain Robert Bennett.
They did not wear American uniforms and their aircraft had no American markings on it.
Their B-26 was shot down on November 5, 1962 near Ca Mau, South Vietnam while they were on a Napalm run with a Viet Nam airman on board (who they were “advising”). Bill Tully took a .50 cal. round through the chest – aircraft was brought down by Viet Cong.
I wrote this poem as if my mom, Bill’s only sibling, his big sister, wrote it as a letter to him in Heaven. My 3 brothers and I are all former United States Marines.
By: Daniel Brannen
Have you received my letter, Billy Boy?
My heart's been composing it for four decades.
My role as big sister was too brief.
You were the man of the family, the only son.
I bore four sons for society -
My youngest your namesake, Billy Boy.
I've given them to the world, reluctantly.
Your courage shines in their eyes.
Autumn, Nineteen sixty-two
While the Nation's heart pounded over Havana,
Mine was torn apart, Billy Boy
Over an Asian jungle so far away.
Your name twice preserved in granite -
On a Washington Wall for the Nation
And on a Kentucky stone for me.
It hurts to remember, Billy Boy.
Tell mom that I miss her
And I love you both.
~ Martha Jayne
"Billy Boy" By: Daniel Brannen © 2008