An Airman's Story: Colonel Jesse Eldred Stay

Colonel Jesse Eldred Stay was born on July 20, 1921, in Draper, Utah. In pre-med, he briefly attended college at UCLA, supporting himself while working at the California Furniture Factory, before leaving school to enlist in the U.S. Army Air Forces in response to World War II.

A tall, thin man, Colonel Jesse Stay struggled to make the minimum weight requirements (General James Stewart also worked to make weight) but ultimately managed to.

He was initially assigned to fly B-17s before being reassigned to the B-24 Liberators and sent for a 29-month assignment in the Pacific, in which Colonel Jesse Stay flew reconnaissance and bombardment missions, including well-known battles, such as the attack on Wake Island and Iwo Jima, and remained relatively unscathed.

Colonel Jesse Stay remained with the U.S. Air Force post-war, finishing his degree in Industrial Management at UCLA before being assigned to the Pentagon, first with the Office of the Secretary, then with the Press Office. Throughout the subsequent years, Colonel Jesse Stay was assigned to posts in the Strategic Command and Information Services and as the Commander of the ROTC at Brigham Young University before he retired in 1968.

After retirement, he worked briefly with the Church College in Hawaii before accepting a position at Brigham Young University and its motion picture studio. He led the production of church films.

Colonel Jesse Eldred Stay died on June 17, 2008, and rests in Orem City Cemetery.

Everyday Patriot Military Biographies 
are written by a.d. elliott - Take the Back Roads #TaketheBackRoads 

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