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James A Gunn Jr

Military

~ Capt. James A. Gunn, Jr, was Killed In Action (KIA) on the bombing mission over the oil refineries at Ploesti, Romania, in his B-24D, 42-40364. 1 Aug, 43.

He was a Command B-24D pilot assigned to the 343rd Bomb Squadron, and the 98th Bomb Group, on the deadly Ploesti mission. He flew on the left side of Flight Three's airplanes and was shot down by the heavy flak over his target, The Astra Romano refirey complex, code named, White IV. - Capt. Gunn and all of his crew were killed in the crash of their B-24 Liberator bomber - KIA, over Ploesti. Because Capt. Gunn's remains were never identified, he was first classified, Missing In Action, MIA - later KIA. He was awarded the Silver Star, The Distinguished Flying Cross, and the Purple Heart medals for his flying skill, his valor, determination, and his sacrifice, in attacking and bombing his target against impossible odds, without any consideration or regard to his own safety. 1 August, 1943.

Captain Gunn's Silver Star Citation:

JAMES A. GUNN, JR., O-791098, Captain, 343rd Bombardment Squadron, 98th Bombardment Group. For gallantry in action while participating in operations against the Ploesti Oil Refineries of Romania on 1 August, 1943. Captain Gunn, pilot of heavy bombardment aircraft and leader of one of the elements during this long-range, low-altitude assault on one of the greatest production centers of the Axis, distinguished himself by outstanding gallantry, superb airmanship, and invincible determination. Flying at 200 feet over the target, through smoke and roaring flames, oil tank explosions, exploding bombs, barrage balloons and a violent concentration of heavy flak, he kept to his course and went over the target. The valor he displayed when faced with overwhelming odds and great peril will serve as a lasting inspiration to the men of the United States Army Air Forces. Captain Gunn is missing in action: Next of kin: Senator James A. Gunn, Sr., (Father) Turners Falls, Massachusetts.

Service

People

  • Robert Courtney

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Bombardier | 98th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 343BS, 98BG, 9AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) Ploesti raid in B-24 42-40364 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs'; shot down near the Yugoslavia/Bulgaria border by enemy fighters during withdrawal from the target. Killed in Action (KIA) MACR...

  • Stanley Horine

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Gunner | 98th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 343BS, 98BG, 9AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) Ploesti raid in B-24 42-40364 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs'; shot down near the Yugoslavia/Bulgaria border by enemy fighters during withdrawal from the target. Sole survivor Prisoner of War...

  • Bernard Leimbach

    Military | First Lieutenant | Navigator | 98th Bomb Group
    First Lieutenant Bernard "Bernie" Elmer Leimbach flew on the mission to Ploesti, Romania, and served as the replacement Navigator on the B-24D Liberator bomber, 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs', SN #42-40364 Y. He was Killed in Action (KIA) on the...

  • Charles Ruark

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Gunner | 98th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 343BS, 98BG, 9AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) Ploesti raid in B-24 42-40364 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs'; shot down near the Yugoslavia/Bulgaria border by enemy fighters during withdrawal from the target. Killed in Action (KIA) MACR...

  • Delmar Smith

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio Operator | 98th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 343BS, 98BG, 9AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) Ploesti raid in B-24 42-40364 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs'; shot down near the Yugoslavia/Bulgaria border by enemy fighters during withdrawal from the target. Killed in Action (KIA) MACR...

  • Frederick Stukey

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Gunner | 98th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 343BS, 98BG, 9AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) Ploesti raid in B-24 42-40364 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs'; shot down near the Yugoslavia/Bulgaria border by enemy fighters during withdrawal from the target. Killed in Action (KIA) MACR...

  • Edwin Turner

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Flight Engineer; Top Turret Gunner | 98th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 343BS, 98BG, 9AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) Ploesti raid in B-24 42-40364 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs'; shot down near the Yugoslavia/Bulgaria border by enemy fighters during withdrawal from the target. Killed in Action (KIA) MACR...

  • Richard Williamson

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 98th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 343BS, 98BG, 9AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) Ploesti raid in B-24 42-40364 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs'; shot down near the Yugoslavia/Bulgaria border by enemy fighters during withdrawal from the target. Killed in Action (KIA) MACR...

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Units served with

  • 9th Air Force
  • 98th Bomb Group

    98th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 98th trained for bombardment missions with B-24 Liberators during the first half of 1942. ...

  • 343rd Bomb Squadron

    343rd Bomb Squadron

    Squadron
    Established as a B-24 Liberator heavy bomb squadron and trained by Third Air Force. Deployed to Egypt in June 1942 over South Atlantic Transport Route transiting from Morrison Field, Florida though the Caribbean to Brazil; performed trans-Atlantic...

Aircraft

  • 42-40364 The Pink Elephant - Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

    B-24 Liberator
    The Pink Elephant, 42-40364, was in the 9th Air Force, the 98th Bomb Group, who called themselves, "The Pyramiders", and the 343rd Bomb Squadron. First named, The Pink Elephant, 42-40364, was the second B-24D, that was later renamed, "Snow White and...

  • 41-11913 Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

    B-24 Liberator
    The B-24D, 41-11913, was the original 9th Air Force, 98th Bomb Group, and 343rd Bomb Squadron's, B-24D, named, Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs, after the Walt Disney characters. The aircraft's nose art depicted the Disney princess, Snow White, and was...

Missions

  • Operation Tidal Wave

    1 August 1943
    Operation TIDAL WAVE. B-24D Liberators attack the oil refineries at Ploesti, Romania. The bombers flew low to avoid radar detection and dropped time delayed bombs. Out of the 177 B-24s that took part in the raid 167 managed to attack their targets. 57...

Associated Place

  • Benina

    Military site : airfield

Events

Event Location Date
Born Turners Falls, Massachusetts 28 September 1919

Son of James A Sr and Ruth [Severance] Gunn.

Enlisted Boston, MA 18 December 1941

Boston, Massachusetts

Based Benina 1943 – 1 August 1943

Assigned to 343BS, 98BG, 9AF USAAF.

Died Macedonia (FYROM) 1 August 1943
Buried Arlington National Cemetery 12 July 1949

Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington , Virginia
Grave 107, Section 15

Buried Springdale Cemetery Montague, Franklin County, MA 1950

Memorialised
Springdale Cemetery
Montague, Franklin County, Massachusetts

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
11 September 2021 19:24:47 Kickapoo Changes to biography
Sources

Added details. - Kickapoo

Date Contributor Update
11 September 2021 18:54:55 Kickapoo Changes to role and biography
Sources

Letter spacing. - Kickapoo

Date Contributor Update
06 August 2021 15:14:14 Al_Skiff Changes to middlename, suffix, biography and events
Sources

https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/86765324/james-a-gunn

Date Contributor Update
05 August 2021 18:06:07 jmoore43 Changes to biography
Sources

Corrected a typo in the "Summary biography" - “Romania” was misspelled.

Date Contributor Update
31 March 2021 23:09:09 decwriter Changes to middlename, suffix, biography and events
Sources

Modified Silver Star citation verbatim per General Order.

Modified biography event to reflect other to denote In Memory Of marker at Springdale Cemetery, Montague, Franklin County, Massachusetts. Marker states "Now Resting With His Crew In Arlington Cemetery"

Date Contributor Update
31 March 2021 15:46:32 Al_Skiff Changes to biography, events, person associations and unit associations
Sources

https://www.fold3.com/image/310763308
https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/86765324/james-a-gunn
https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/129710999/james-a.-gunn

Date Contributor Update
31 March 2021 14:32:40 Al_Skiff Changes to biography and events
Sources

https://www.fold3.com/image/310763308
https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/86765324/james-a-gunn

Date Contributor Update
31 March 2021 00:55:07 decwriter Changes to awards
Sources

According to his entry date, he earned the ACM and at least one bronze star device, and possibly more, on the EAME Campaign Medal.

Date Contributor Update
04 July 2020 14:32:46 decwriter Changes to service number and events
Sources

NARA verified ASN upon entry as Aviation Cadet.

Date Contributor Update
04 July 2020 13:46:06 decwriter Changes to awards
Sources

NARA file verified award.

Date Contributor Update
02 July 2020 22:44:48 decwriter Changes to awards
Sources

NARA File verified awards.

Date Contributor Update
11 May 2020 05:09:37 jmoore43 Changes to biography
Sources

Added a "-" to the A/C serial # in the "Summary biography" to aid clarity & consistency.

Date Contributor Update
23 January 2019 00:44:34 decwriter Changes to biography
Sources

Updated Silver Star citation.

Date Contributor Update
21 January 2019 14:28:01 decwriter Changes to events
Sources

Updated biography information.

Date Contributor Update
21 January 2019 14:22:25 decwriter Changes to mission associations
Sources

Updated mission connection.

Date Contributor Update
09 February 2018 11:59:54 decwriter Changes to awards
Sources

Awarded Silver Star for his actions on the 1 Aug 1943 Ploesti raid.

Date Contributor Update
07 February 2018 11:36:15 Lucy May Changes to suffix, service number, events and unit associations
Sources

Re-checked MACR 165: https://www.fold3.com/image/1/29417957
https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/86765324/james-a-gunn#

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:14:03 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / MACR 165

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