George Cahill (November 5, 1925 – July 2, 2018) served with the 390th Bomb Group during World War II. He remembers always wanting to fly planes. But he didn’t think he’d become a togglier.
Toggliers were enlisted bombardiers—they toggled open the bomb bay door switch. Bombardiers and navigators sat in the nose of B17s and B24s and died in large numbers being in that dangerous, unprotected position. So the Army Air Corps needed more.
George thought he’d get a promotion, or a pay raise, or at least fewer missions. But toggliers didn’t get any of that. And it only took 45 minutes to train. So George said, “sign me up!”
On July 2, 2018 George F. Cahill, formerly of Upper St. Clair, died at age 92. Beloved husband of the late Muriel O. Cahill. George leaves behind three children, Judith (Frank) Milfeit, Linda (Wayne) King, and Mark (Terry) Cahill; four grandchildren Christopher (Jillian) Stone, Matthew Stone, Rebecca King, (Nicholas) Ferraro, Kirah Cahill; and great granddaughter, Emmylou Stone. George was born in Indianapolis, Indiana and raised in Kansas City, Missouri. He was the son of Dr. Edward A. and Margaret T. Cahill. At the age of 17 he volunteered for service during WWII and was assigned to the 8th Army Air Forces, 390th bomb group. He graduated from Purdue University and in 1949 joined the Boy Scouts of America, serving councils in Milwaukee, Cincinnati, New York, and ultimately becoming Chief Scout Executive of Allegheny Trails Council (now Laurel Highlands Council). While in Pittsburgh George was instrumental in the creation of Flag Plaza. George received the Boy Scouts’ highest honors including The Jubilee Medal from the Hungarian Scout Association, the Silver Beaver Award, and the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award. George founded and served as President of the National Flag Foundation, organized the Pittsburgh Committee of ’76, and created the Patriot Award Ceremony. He was named Pittsburgh’s Man of the Year in 1975, received the General Matthew B. Ridgway Award, The Medal of Paris, and The George Washington Honor Medal. Dedicated to leadership and community service, George served with long tenures on the board of St. Clair Hospital, Alpha Phi Omega National Service Fraternity, Boy Scouts of America, National Flag Foundation, and served as trustee of the American Humanics Foundation. Funeral arrangements by BEINHAURS. Family and friends welcome Thursday, 5:00-7:00 p.m., at 2828 Washington Road, McMurray, 724-941-3211. Mass of Christian Burial Friday 10:00 a.m., at St. Thomas More Church 126 Ft. Couch Rd, Pittsburgh 15241. Interment private. In lieu of flowers the family requests donations be made to St. Clair Hospital Foundation; or the 390th Memorial Museum, Tucson Arizona.
Published in Pittsburgh Post-Gazette from July 4 to July 5, 2018