December 2014

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With a new year coming on us, please consider renewing membership with the Claybourn Genealogical Society (CGS). Anyone who is interested in genealogy and history can become a member. Dues for a yearly membership is $20 and permanent Membership is available for a one-time payment of $100 (click here for a list of permanent members). Easy online payment through PayPal is available here to the right. All donations and memberships are tax deductible.

Each year CGS requires about $320 to cover website hosting and research fees (click here for the most recent operating statement). Therefore donations in addition to, or in lieu of, membership dues are welcome and help a great deal.

In 2015 we plan to complete and publish a magnificent single volume history of the family in book format. The final product will include all of the information currently on the website plus additional never before seen photos. Your donations will help with publishing costs.

Founded in 2009, CGS is the world’s leading resource for Clyburn / Claybourn / Claiborne / Clayborn / Claybourne family history research. Although our name says Claybourn, we provide expertise and research for numerous family lines, from eighteenth-century colonial Virginia through twentieth-first-century biographical research. We maintain an award-winning website, Claybourn.org, as the online repository for more than 5,000 searchable names. CGS is a 501(c)(3) non-profit charity that is open to the public.

Lloyd Claiborne Weir

We are excited to announce the addition of information concerning Lloyd Claiborne Weir (known as “George”). He was born to Sarah Frances Claiborne and DeWitt Franklin Weir on 15 December 1920 in White County, Arkansas. In World War II he served as crew chief and master sergeant of the B-24 Liberator Hot Stuff, the first heavy bomber in the 8th Air Force to complete twenty-five missions in Europe in World War II and, after completing thirty-one missions, was selected to return to the United States on 3 May 1943 to tour the country and help sell war bands. That spring of 1943 Lt. Gen. Frank M. Andrews needed to get back to Washington, D.C. He was Commander of the European Theater of Operations and known as the father of the Air Force. General Andrews knew Hot Stuff’s pilot Capt. “Shine” Shannon and chose to fly back to the United States with him.

Hot Stuff had a scheduled refueling stop in Iceland but crashed into a mountain in bad weather that day on 3 May 1943. All onboard, including George Weir, were killed except the tail gunner. The real purpose of General Andrews’ travel was that he was going back to Washington, D.C., to be blessed by Congress and the president, awarded his fourth star, and formally named Supreme Allied Commander in Europe to lead an assault across the English Channel. Because of his death, the job was assigned to Gen. Dwight David Eisenhower nine months later in February 1944.

In a subsequent diary entry a fellow soldier wrote, “I don’t see how anyone could have been a better crew chief than George. He went beyond the call of duty in working on his plane. Time meant nothing when things needed to be done. The plane was a living thing to him and long after the most severed inspector would pronounce the plane fit, George would still be out there tinkering around making little adjustments, polishing the interior, and looking things over. . . . He was everything a good soldier should be — loyal, capable, and industrious.”

The Hot Stuff crew and those on the flight with Gen. Andrews are memorialized online here with stories and several videos. Jim Lux, a friend of a surviving member who had missed the flight the day it crashed, worked hard to memorialize the crew and their history. He led an effort to dedicate a plaque at the site with plans and hopes of a future memorial monument by the wreckage near Grindavik, Iceland.