First Lieutenant Horace LeRoy Borden, Jr. US Army Air Forces (1921-1944) was a World War II fighter pilot killed in action in the Phillipines in 1944.
Horace LeRoy Borden, Jr. was born in 1921 to Horace LeRoy Borden, Sr. of Portsmouth, RI and Margaret Hayden of Fall River. MA. The family moved to Springfield, MA in about 1924. Roy
Borden attended Georgia Tech in the class of 1943, but left in 1942 to join the Army Air Corps. On April 22, 1943, he graduated from the Eagle Pass, TX advanced single engine pilot school. The graduation speaker that day was his father, who pinned the wings on his son’s chest. He joined the 311th Fighter Squadron, 58th Fighter Group and served as a P-47 Thunderbolt pilot, initially in the New Guinea area. He was chosen as the typical Air Force aviator for the patriotic poster that was put up in the many aviation spare parts plants throughout the country.
Lieutenant Borden was also an accomplished poet, the author of a number of inspiring and excellent poems which reflected the thoughts of our young servicemen at war. In 1943, he wrote one of the nation’s immortal war poems. Entitled “Flier’s Reward” it was included in the book “Reveille”, a historical collection written by members of the Armed Forces.
The day after Christmas, 1944, Roy was reported missing. It is presumed that he was lost at sea during the battle for Mindoro in the Phillipines. He was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart and the Distinguished Flying Cross. He had previously been awarded the Air Medal. His remains were never recovered, but he is remembered at the Manila American Cemetery and Memorial, Fort William McKinley, The Philippines.