P/O Willard trained at No.1 Bombing and Gunnery School at Jarvis Ontario.
On August 10th 1943 P/O Willard along with the other members of the F/O Brown crew arrived at 419 Squadron.
His fellow crew members were:
F/O Harold "Browny" Brown Pilot
P/O L. Leshko Navigator
F/S H. Finner Bomb Aimer
Sgt. J.J. Greer WAG
Sgt. W. MacDonald Flight Engineer
The second Air Gunner position was filled by a series of Air Gunners starting on the first sortie.
Willard along with the other members of Brown's crew had to wait until Brown had completed his last of two operations
as 2nd Pilot which occurred on August 12/13.
In the mean time P/O Willard and the crew along with their pilot completed cross country and bombing exercises
with the squadron.
The Battle Order for the night of August 22/23 listed Willard and the crew as being assigned to Halifax BB376 for
this Willard's first operational sortie.
On this op. the second gunner position was filled by Sgt. David Turbitt
who was a member of the Betcher crew.
The ORB shows a series of different gunners flying with Willard on those sorties.
P/O Willard remained with the crew the whole time.