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John George Gossage

Military

Shot down 24 September 1943 on a practice flight in B-17 #42-30259 'Damifino II'. Plane ditched in the North Sea. 5 Killed In Action; 5 rescued, Gossage among them - Missing Air Crew Report MACR 778. On a mission November 5, 1943 to Gelsenkirchen on B-17 42-30088 'Squawkin' Hawk II', pilot William R. Flesh ordered a bail out after plane suffered severe bomb damage. 8 men jumped, but pilot Flesh and Co-Pilot John G. Gossage were able to regain control and landed at the RAF base at Tangmere, Kent. Four men were made made prisoner. Radio Operator Conner Brewster was killed when his parachute didn't open. Three other crew members managed to evade with the help of the Belgian Comète evasion network. MACR 15553.
Gossage was Pilot of B-17G #42-38017, hit by flak on a mission to Berlin 3 March 1944. Had to make an emergency landing at the Schleswig Land Luftwaffe air base, Germany. All 10 men on board were Prisoners of War (POW). MACR 3025.

Service

People

  • Bruce Alshouse

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 100th Bomb Group
    Completed 25 missions from 23 September 1943 - 6 March 1944. Shot down 24 September 1943 in B-17 #42-30259 'Damifino II' on a practice flight to test PFF equipment and technique. Intercepted and attacked by enemy fighters, the Fortress was riddled and...

  • Howard Ball

    Military | Lieutenant | Bombardier | 100th Bomb Group
    Hit by flak and made an emergency landing at Schleswig Land, GR on a mission to Berlin 3 Mar 1944 in B-17G #42-38017. Prisoner of War (POW). POW

  • Conner Brewster

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Radio Operator / Gunner | 100th Bomb Group
    Radio Operator Conner Brewster was killed by Flak inside B-17 42-30088 'Squawkin' Hawk II' on the Gelsenkirchen mission, November 5, 1943. Pilot William Flesh ordered a bail out after plane suffered severe bomb damage. Brewster's parachute failed to...

  • Arthur Congrove

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 100th Bomb Group
    Hit by flak and made an emergency landing at Schleswig Land, GR on a mission to Berlin 3 Mar 1944 in B-17G #42-38017. Prisoner of War (POW). POW

  • Arthur Cooper

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Top Turret Gunner | 100th Bomb Group
    Hit by flak and made an emergency landing at Schleswig Land, GR on a mission to Berlin 3 Mar 1944 in B-17G #42-38017. Prisoner of War (POW). POW

  • James Dalton

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator | 100th Bomb Group
    James Dalton was Navigator on board B-17 42-30259 on a 24 September 1943 practice flight to test PFF equipment and technique. Intercepted by enemy fighters and shot down. Ditched North Sea. James was picked up by a Royal Navy torpedo motor boat, but...

  • Francis De Cooman

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner | 100th Bomb Group
    Francis De Cooman was Ball Turret Gunner on board B-17 42-30259 on a 24 September 1943 practice flight to test PFF equipment and technique. Intercepted by enemy fighters and shot down. Ditched North Sea. He was among the 5 men killed, 5 others were...

  • Francis Dolsen

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Assistant Radio Operator; Ball Turret Gunner | 100th Bomb Group
    Francis Dolsen was Assistant Radio Operator on his 14th mission. On that mission, November 5, 1943 to Gelsenkirchen on B-17 42-30088 'Squawkin' Hawk II', pilot William R. Flesh ordered a bail out after plane suffered severe bomb damage. 8 men jumped,...

  • Theodore Don

    Military | Captain | Bombardier | 100th Bomb Group
    Theodore Don was Bombardier on board B-17 42-30259 'Damifino II' on a 24 September 1943 practice flight to test PFF equipment and technique. Intercepted by enemy fighters and shot down. Ditched North Sea. 5 men died. Theodore was among the 5 who were...

  • William Flesh

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 100th Bomb Group
    On a mission November 5, 1943 to Gelsenkirchen on B-17 42-30088 'Squawkin' Hawk II', pilot William R. Flesh ordered a bail out after plane suffered severe bomb damage. 8 men jumped, but pilot Flesh and Co-Pilot John G. Gossage were able to regain...

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Units served with

  • 100th Bomb Group

    100th Bomb Group

    Group
    "The Bloody Hundredth", so-called because of a reputation for losing a high number aircraft and crews, flew B-17s from Thorpe Abbotts, Norfolk. Their losses were not the highest of any Eighth Air Force Group but on several occasions the Group lost many...

  • 349th Bomb Squadron

Aircraft

  • 42-30088 "Squawkin' Hawk II"

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 8/4/43; Kearney 16/4/43; Wendover 2/5/43; Hill 12/5/43; Wendover 18/5/43; Kearney 22/5/43; Dow Field 27/5/43; Assigned 349BS/100BG [XR-E] Thorpe Abbotts 9 June 1943. Severe battle damage over Stuttgart 6 September 1943 with Sumner...

  • 42-30259 DAMIFINO II

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 8/5/43; Smoky Hill 25/4/43; Kearney 27/5/43; Dow Fd 7/6/43; Assigned 349BS/100BG [XR-N] Thorpe Abbotts 10/6/43. Was flying on a practice flight 24 September 1943 to test PFF equipment and technique. Intercepted and shot down by enemy...

  • 42-38017 ONE MISSION LULU

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 15/11/43; Syracuse 7/12/43; Presque Isle 15/12/43; Assigned 349BS/100BG [XR-O] Thorpe Abbotts 28/12/43; Missing in Action Schwelswig A/Fd 3/3/44 with John Gossage, Co-pilot: Bert McNeil, Navigator: Ed Werner, Bombardier: Howard Ball,...

Missions

  • VIII Air Support Command 70

    24 September 1943
    The German airfield of Beauvais/Tille, France is the target fro a combined force of 72 B-26s freom 323BG (36) and 322BG (36). 66 aircraft are effective on the target. There are no losses, but 14 aircraft are damaged. The bomber gunners claim 1-0-0 of...

  • VIII Bomber Command 121

    5 November 1943
    Having had good success with P-38 escorts and limiting penetration depth into Germany this mission is directed at the railroad marshaling yards and oil refinery at Gelsenkirchen, Germany. In addition the marshaling yards at Munster, Germany are also...

  • 8th Air Force 246

    3 March 1944
    A combined force of 748 heavy bombers are despatched to bomb the primary targets of Berlin, Erkner and Oranienburg, Germany, but weather and dense contrails forced most of the formations to turn back or seek Targets of Opportunity (TOs). 1st Combat...

Associated Place

  • Thorpe Abbotts

    Military site : airfield
    Home of the 'Bloody Hundredth’, a Bomb Group with a reputation for high casualty rates, Thorpe Abbotts was under USAAF control from June 1943 to the end of the war. Some of the airfield survives today, and the control tower houses the 100th Bomb Group...

Events

Event Location Date
Born Providence, Rhode Island, USA 13 May 1917

the son of George O. and Margaret M. Gossage

Lived in 1942

Warwick, Providence County, Rhode Island

Enlisted 12 March 1942

as a Private in the Air Corps, in Providence, Rhode Island

rescued after ditching 24 September 1943

flying on a practice flight, B-17 42-30259 was intercepted by German fighters and was shot down in the North Sea. Gossage and four others were rescued, the five others drowned.

brought Fortress back to England 5 November 1943

together with his Pilot William R. Flesh, after 42-30088 had been damaged and the order to bail out had been given. Eight men jumped but Flesh and Gossage regained control of the plane and brought it back to England, landing at the RAF base at Tangmere.

captured 3 March 1944

after emergency landing, Schleswig Land, Germany

Prisoner of War (POW) 3 March 1944 – May 1945

Interned at Stalag Luft 1 in Barth Germany. Force-marched to other camps and liberated.
NARA WWII POW records : "Returned to Military Control 21 July 1945."

discharged 3 November 1945
Buried 1978

John Gossage rests at the Rhode Island Veterans National Cemetery in Exeter, Washington County, Rhode Island

Died 22 November 1978

Rhode Island

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
03 May 2019 17:03:11 lowbuckbob Changes to media associations
Sources

TJDon archives

Date Contributor Update
23 April 2019 09:30:10 ED-BB Changes to middlename, service number, role, biography, events, person associations, place associations, mission associations and media associations
Sources

MACRs 778, 15553 and 3025
US Census 1930
NARA WWII Enlistment records
NARA WWII POW records
VA Gravesite Locator

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:16:04 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / MACR 3025 / MACR 778 / MACR 778, MACR 3026, Losses of the 8th & 9th Air Forces, Losses of the 8th & 9th AFs Vol. I by Bishop & Hey pp. 511-2 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database

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