Jules Wilburn Benard was a character and a very likable man. The story of his life working on bombers during WWII is compelling and entertaining. I invite you to experience history, told by those who lived it.
The Tennessee Museum of Aviation has graciously allowed us to share their memories of Jules. Jules W. Bernard was born December 11, 1921, in Thibodaux, Louisiana. His infatuation with aviation traces back to his childhood. His first airplane ride, at age 13, in a Waco 10 biplane, set in motion a lifetime interest and commitment to aviation.
Mechanically gifted, Jules enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps. He saw service in North Africa, Corsica, Algeria, Italy, and England. He primarily worked as an aircraft mechanic on bombers. He served with the 414th Squadron, 97th Bomb Group in England; was as crew chief with the 346th Bombardment Squadron in North Africa; and transferred to the 57th Bomb Wing in Italy, finishing the war as a Tech Sergeant. Jules will be remembered as a WWII Veteran, but he lead a full and interesting life. After his service and return to Louisiana, Jules graduated from LSU-Baton Rouge in 1949. He was an accomplished photographer, taking a job with the U.S. Space Program in Huntsville, Alabama, in which he used his skills as a high-speed photographer in the development of the moon buggy.
From 1971-1985, he served as head of public relations and continuing education at the University of Tennessee Space Institute in Tullahoma. Jules obtained his pilot’s license in 1968. After retirement, he continued his commitment to aviation by building model aircraft and volunteering at the Tennessee Museum of Aviation. Jules had a love for aviation, photography, history, teaching, and the great outdoors. But, the love and devotion for his wife, Dorothy (12/03/1923–02/25/2013), was beyond compare. He could sit and talk for hours about aircraft and his time serving in the USAAC. When Jules spoke of his beloved Dot, his eyes shined brighter and his voice softened.
He shared their many adventures with a smile on his face and overwhelming love in his heart. Jules has finally reunited with the greatest love of his life. Jules Wilburn Bernard will be missed by family and friends.
More links to the legacy of Jules Bernard:
Anything is Possible Jules Bernard – Part 1 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ghDbgHu1doM
Anything is Possible Jules Bernard – Part 2 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gXj7lrYWe8Q