Written by Shawn Antoine II ’14 Director of Admissions
On this Veterans Day, Cardinal Hayes High School gives thanks to all the men and women who have served this country. Cardinal Hayes alumni and faculty have a long history of serving this country and upholding our motto ‘For God and Country’. Today we share the story of William J. Cavanaugh class of 1942. He was a Veteran of WWII having served in the US Air Force as a pilot and bombardier in the European Theatre (460th Bomb Group, 761st Squadron).
Bill was born November 15, 1923 in New York City. Bill at 18 years old in 1941 knew after the December 7th Pearl Harbor attack he would be enlisted in the Army Air Corps. He was notified to report for pilot training prior to graduating from Cardinal Hayes High School. On May 20, 1944 he completed his bombardier training and was transported via cargo ship to his base in Italy.
In 1944 Bill was assigned to the ‘Lead Plane’ role, which is designed for the initial target bombing. In other words, Bills bomb drop sites marked the designated location where the rest of the bombers would drop theirs. Bill was awarded two Distinguished Flying Crossest, four Air Medals, two Presidential Group wards, and six European Battle Stars.
We thank William J. Cavanaugh ’42 for his service to this country and all Hayesmen who have served and upheld our motto ‘For God and Country’.
The Mission of Cardinal Hayes High School, a community based in Roman Catholic values, is to inspire diverse young men of the New York City metropolitan area to become lifelong learners and responsible citizens. We will accomplish this goal by encouraging students' spiritual and intellectual growth through a rigorous college preparatory program of academics, extra-curricular activities, and personal discipline.