Bill Mallory

Former teacher and World War II veteran, Bill Mallory stands next to his electric cart. He will be receiving honors at the Missouri State Fair this month. Photo by Stan Schwartz

11 veterans to receive 


during fair week


BOWLING GREEN—Bill Mallory, a World War II veteran, will be honored during the Missouri State Fair Aug. 17 at 6 p.m.

Mallory is one of 11 Missouri veterans who were nominated to receive honors during the Military Flag Retreat Ceremony at the fair. The ceremony will take place behind the Missouri State Highway Patrol building.

This new ceremony is set to take place each day of the 11-day fair. Eleven service men and women were selected from nominations sent in from all over the state.

Mallory, who was having coffee at MeMe’s Friday morning, smiled when he learned about the honor. He was seated at a table with six other gentlemen, enjoying their camaraderie. He noted that his friend, Roger Colbert, was the one who nominated him for this honor.

Bowling Green Mayor Donald Hunter teased Mallory, telling him he should start heading to Sedalia today if he wanted to get there in time, driving his golf cart.

Mallory, at 99, is still spry and gets around town in his cart. He was only having coffee Friday morning because he said he likes to cook.

“Any man that can’t cook, has a problem,” he said.

In his nomination form for Mallory, Colbert wrote: “Mr. Mallory served in the Army Air Force as a B-24 tail gunner from 1943 to 1945, serving in England and Italy. He received a Presidential Citation for the number of missions he flew. He flew at least 15 missions into Germany and Austria from March 9, 1945 to April 21, 1945. After leaving the Air Force in 1945, he taught agriculture to veterans for 11 years.  After this, he taught vocational agriculture in Bowling Green before retiring after 29 years in the classroom. During his time of teaching, he took many students to the Missouri State Fair to exhibit livestock and other projects.”

Colbert said he’s known Mallory for close to 50 years, and even though he is not a veteran himself, he appreciates those who have served and the sacrifices they made for our country’s freedom.

When told that 10 other veterans or active military people would be receiving the honor, too, over the course of the fair, Mallory said, “I bet I’m the oldest, and probably have more combat time than any of them.”

On one mission, he said, he spotted a German fighter plane that had dropped into the back of their bomber formation.

“I was just trying to decide if I should shoot him, when I blinked and he was gone. It happened that fast.”

Mallory then hopped into his golf cart to head home, so, he said, he could make an apple pie.

Colbert said he was hoping local folks who were planning on attending the state fair would be there for the ceremony honoring Mallory.

“My goal is for him to have a big crowd,” he said. “I was hoping to increase awareness for him. Many area folks may go to the state fair, so I was hoping they would choose to go that day and support him.

“It is about recognizing and honoring the veterans and particularly Mr. Mallory, so anything we can do is appreciated.”

According to the Missouri State Fair website, Mallory will be honored Aug. 17 at 6 p.m.

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