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John E. Phillip Pickett collection

 Collection — Box: 01.0201-Box 1, Folder: 001
Identifier: 02-01.0201

Content Description

This collection consists of photocopies of personnel records, official orders, and photographs related to the service of John E. Phillip Picket with the 13th Air Force, a tail gunner serving aboard a B-24 with the 307th Bomb Group of the 13th Army Air Force during World War II. There are official records documenting the number of missions Pickett and his crew undertook. Copies of a number of publications, including a history of the 13th Air Force in the Pacific, as well as summaries of each bombing mission that Pickett and his crew undertook in 1945, and several postwar reminiscences are included in the collection.


  • 1942-1999


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to the public.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish, exhibit, or broadcast works from the Institute on World War II and the Human experience must be requested and granted in writing by the director of the Institute. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Institute on World War II as the owner of the physical items and the copyright holder. Possession of a copy of an item does not constitute permission to publish, exhibit, or broadcast it. The Institute on World War II and the Human Experience reserves the right to refuse permission to individuals and publishers who have not complied with its policies. Permission fees must be paid before images are provided. Please contact the director of the Institute on World War II and the Human Experience for current publication and duplication rates.

Biographical / Historical

John E. Phillip Pickett was born on June 20,1920 in Durham, North Carolina. Prior to joining the Army Air Force on June 20, 1942, Pickett was employed by the Department of Pathology at the Duke University School of Medicine. He attended preflight training at Kelly Field, San Antonio, Texas followed by primary flight school at Chickasha, Oklahoma with the 316th Army Air Forces Force Training Detachment. He did not advance further in pilot training and was reassigned to the aerial photography school at Lowry Field, Denver, Colorado from March 1943-June 1943. After completing photography school, Pickett was deployed to the 68th Air Depot Group based in Brookley Field in Mobile, Alabama. At Brookley, Picket photographed a boxing match between two African American fighters, possibly GIs. Pickett attended Harlingen Aerial Gunnery School from June 1944 – September 5, 1944.

Pickett was assigned to serve as gunner and radio for a B-24 with the 371st Bomb Squadron of the 307th Bomb Group of the 13th Air Force. Pickett’s crew took part in bombing missions against Balikpapan, Rabaul, Saigon, and other targets in the Southwest Pacific in 1945. Pickett was discharged from Army Air Force on November 10, 1945 at Seymour Johnson Field, North Carolina. Pickett enlisted in the U.S. Air Force Reserve on May 20, 1947 and was discharged on May 19, 1950. Pickett attended reunions with his crew in the 1990s.

Pickett died on January 31, 2000 and is buried in the Maplewood Cemetery in Durham, North Carolina.


1 boxes

Language of Materials


John E. Phillip Pickett collection
G. Kurt Piehler
January 22, 2021
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Institute on WWII and the Human Experience Repository