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Darrell Wayne Boyd

August 8, 1924 — May 27, 2024

Austin, TX

Darrell Wayne Boyd, age 99, of Austin, Texas, passed away on Memorial Day, May 27, 2024, a beloved husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather. He is survived by his children Rhonda Gail Johnson and Norman Wayne Boyd  (wife Donna); grandchildren Monica Neasham, Julie Mueller, Amy Eastman, April Herms, Kevin Herms, Jennifer Boyd and Stephanie Boyd; and great grandchildren.

Wayne was preceded in death by his wife Annie Lois Boyd, daughter, Sherry Ella Scott and grandson Christopher Leighton.

Wayne was born August 8, 1924 in Lubbock, Texas to William Neal Boyd and Josephine DeLashaw Boyd.  Preceded in death by one sister and ten brothers, he was the last surviving child of William and Josephine.

He left school early to help support the family. After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, he enlisted in the United States Army Air Force where he proudly served his country during World War II. He was stationed in India and Burma  as a welder on a crew building runways, repairing planes, and disabling enemy artillery. 

After the war, Wayne returned to Lubbock where he met and married Annie Hayes and they moved to Dallas and started their family. They moved to San Antonio and lived there briefly before permanently settling in Austin. They lived in the same house in Austin since 1954.

Wayne learned the sheet metal trade and began working for Young & Pratt, Inc. Mechanical Contractors, where he eventually became superintendent of  HVAC.  He worked for Young & Pratt for 31 years before retiring in 1984. He was instrumental in establishing Sheet Metal Workers International Association Local #67 in Austin and as a president of this local, he was a strong advocate in negotiating better member benefits.

In addition, he was a member of the Onion Creek Masonic Lodge No. 220 since 1948.  

Wayne joined the Capital Rod and Gun Club on Lake Travis in 1954 as one of it’s earliest members.  He served as Club President for one term and last year he was honored with a lifetime membership at the Club’s 75th anniversary celebration.  The family had a cabin at the Club on Lake Travis and cherished  wonderful memories from many days spent there. Hours were spent on the lake fishing, swimming, boating and skiing. The family also enjoyed the many club activities, tournaments and parties.

As an avid fisherman, Wayne was a member of Captial Bass Club and Brushy Creek Bass Club.  He participated in many bass fishing tournaments all over the state winning many awards. His son, Norman was a frequent fishing partner. Wayne participated as an ambassador fisherman in a Texas Parks and Wildlife Department sponsored fishing exchange program with Mexico to experience the sport of fishing in that country. It was a unique and enlightening fishing experience. Being an advocate of conserving fishing in Texas, he also served on the Freshwater Fishery Advisory Board to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

Wayne’s wish was to be cremated and have his ashes scattered with Annie’s. Immediate family will hold a private memorial at a later date.

Darrell Wayne Boyd

Sergeant – United States Army Air Forces

Recollections of military experiences during WWII

as dictated to Donna Boyd in 2010


I was 17 when I boarded the USS Brazil. There was a civilian crew running the ship under the direction of our military commander. We were the first troops on this converted luxury liner. Troops were assigned to certain sections and not allowed to roam the ship freely. Our unit was bunked in the stern of the ship. Committees were formed to carry out the chores of everyday living. I was on the committee that retrieved food supplies from the bottom freezer for thawing in the chill box. I spent more time at my duties than in my bunk because it was more comfortable and didn’t smell as bad. We were packed like sardines. Showers, when we were allowed to have them, were salt water. We were only allowed 2 meals a day and there was a 24 hour chow line called in by units. There was some tension that the civilian crew did not adhere to the rations that were imposed upon the troops.

We left Charleston, SC before daylight on March 19, 1942. We developed a vibration in the left screw (rumored to be a bent prop) and stopped in San Juan for repairs. But we had to go on to Trinidad to get the repairs. From there we proceeded south and then changed course west to Freetown, West Africa. The difficult time was getting to Freetown. We were out of water and tempers flared. At one point the pool was filled with salt water and units were given shifts to get “clean” in the pool. It got very smelly on board. The nurses and officers who had use of the upper deck above the pool were  treated to the view of groups of “buck naked” men taking their turns in the pool. For one meal, potatoes were cooked in seawater and mashed. I remember the Captain asking, “How do you dog faces like potatoes cooked in saltwater?”

We were not a part of a convoy, but a tanker and a freighter usually traveled with us. When we got near shore, a plane came out to search for submarines and a destroyer escorted us into ports. I saw the Battleship of Texas somewhere along the way in a staging area.

We stopped in Freetown for a few hours to take on water which we needed desperately. We were hurried in and out of this harbor because the ship was very vulnerable here. There was a German sub base up the coast. They were responsible for sunken ships in the harbor. From Freetown we continued south to Capetown, South Africa. We were allowed shore leave here for a few hours. We had to be back on the ship before midnight. Capetown was a beautiful city and modern in every respect.

We left Capetown and proceeded around the Horn to Durban, East Africa. The ship was held up here because of the situation in Madagascar. From Durban we went on to Port Elizabeth where we were again allowed a few hours shore leave. In Port Elizabeth, British families invited soldiers to lunch at their homes. I took advantage of this offer and I was picked up at the dock and taken to a home at the edge of town and enjoyed a home cooked meal and a visit with the family.

From Port Elizabeth we sailed on into the Indian Ocean and docked at Karachi, India on May 16, 1942, where we disembarked. At one point the Brazil was reported to have been sunk and the Red Cross relayed this news to my Mom.

We played a lot of checkers, checkerboards were easy to make, and poker. I won a Japanese flag in a card game. I remember being on guard duty and walking into a tent where a blackjack game was going on. I got into the game on someone else’s hand and wound up sitting on the table and raking in the money. I was very nearly court martialed.

I had accumulated some contraband besides the Japanese flag. I had a Japanese rifle, 3 beautiful blue star sapphires (I won the big one in a poker game), and 3 blood red sardonyx gemstones. Everything except the sardonyx was confiscated upon debarkation in CA. I had hidden the sardonyx in the handle of my shaving brush. I had two rings made, but I don’t know what became of them.

I remember getting beer once. It was Ballantine Ale.

I left Bombay, India on October 12, 1944 on the USS Billie Mitchell. After stops at Sydney, Australia (for water) and Guadalcanal (to take on more troops) and skirting the edge of a typhoon, we arrived in San Diego, CA on November 18, 1944.

SS Brazil

Troop ship

SS Brazil was a US turbo-electric ocean liner. She was completed in 1928 as SS Virginia, and refitted and renamed as SS Brazil in 1938. From 1942 to 1946 she was the War Shipping Administration operated troopship Brazil. She was laid up in 1958 and scrapped in 1964.

The War Shipping Administration had the ship, one of the large, fast vessels able to sail independently when required, converted into the Brazil for service carrying troops and operated the ship through its agents. On 19 March 1942 she sailed from Charleston, South Carolina carrying 4,000 United States Army troops via the Cape of Good Hope to Karachi, British India, where they arrived on 12 May.

As built, Virginia had accommodation for 184 first class and 365 tourist class passengers.

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