William D. Gatling Collection

June 19, 1905
Manuscript Collection #1127
Gatling, William D. (William David)
Physical description
0.02 Cubic Feet, 1 item
Preferred Citation
William D. Gatling Collection (#1127), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.
ECU Manuscript Collection
No restrictions

Biographical/historical information

Major William David Gatling, Sr. was born in 1922 in Murfreesboro, NC to parents Julian Irving and Rosa Virginia Byrd-Gatling. After enlisting in October 27, 1940, Gatling attended many flight schools in his early career. On October 9, 1941, he graduated as a Staff Sergeant with Class 42-I. served in the 315th Squadron of the 324th Fighter Group in the U.S. Army Air Corps, flying 200 combat missions in fighter bombers over northern Africa and Europe during World War II. He documented his war experiences in a memoir entitled "Critical Points" and in a 2015 documentary produced by the Institute of Military Technology in Titusville, FL. In 2016 in Dayton, OH, Gatling attended an honoring of the 324th Fighter Group. On June 10, 2017, Gatling passed away in Florida, and was laid to rest in the Arlington National Cemetery.

Scope and arrangement

The collection consists of the 89-page book "Critical Points" written by William D. Gatling, and published by Pierce Printing Company of Ahoskie, NC in 1997. The book documents Gatling's World War II experiences in Europe, Africa, and Asia, and lists the names of the 324th Fighter Group men who lost their lives during World War II. More specifically, Gatling provides first-hand accounts of dive-bombing and strafing missions over Africa and Europe in sections of the book. The book contains a press release, orders, newspaper clippings, articles, and correspondences related to Gatling and the 324th Fighter Group. In addition, Gatling provides aircraft specifications, and his flight training and combat flight log.

The book is an autographed copy of "Critical Points" written out to Yvonne Martin, whose aunt and uncle were living in France during World War II.

Administrative information
Custodial History

March 12, 2008, 1 item, 0.02 cubic feet; Critical Points: WWII Fighter - Bomber Air-to-Ground Support (Dive-Bombing and Strafing): North Africa, Sicily, Italy and Southern France, 1943-1944, By William D. Gatling. (Ahoskie, NC: Pierce Printing Company, 1997) Library of Congress Number TX576708. Book Layout and Cover Design by George Cohen. Printed. Paperback. Donor: Yvonne Martin

Source of acquisition

Gift of Yvonne Martin

Processing information

Encoded by Mark Custer, March 18, 2008

Processed by Aleck Tan, February 2020

Copyright notice

Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.

Key terms
Personal Names
Gatling, William D. (William David)
Gatling, William D. (William David). Critical points.
Corporate Names
United States. Army Air Forces. Fighter Group, 324th
Fighter pilots--United States--Biography
World War, 1939-1945--Aerial operations, American
World War, 1939-1945--Personal narratives, American

Container list
Box 1 Folder a Critical Ponits: WWII Fighter-Bomber Air-to-Ground Support, written by William D. Gatling, printed 1997, 1997

Autographed copy of the memoir containing Gatling's World War II experiences