He enlisted in the Army Air Corps in January, 1942. He had completed civilian pilot training prior to entry into military service and had earned his private pilot’s license.
After Basic Training, Aircraft Engine School at Sacramento, California, and Armaments School at Lowry Field, Colorado, he was assigned to Martin Aircraft Company at Baltimore, Maryland, where he performed flight testing on the B-26 Marauder bomber. “We would lose about a plane a day.” The B-26 became known as “The Widow Maker” due to its high rate of crashes. “A design problem was found in the flaps. The plane had to come in to land “hot” and couldn’t be slowed down like normal aircraft.”
In early 1943 Gilbert was sent to the European Theater of Operations assigned to Base Air Depot #2 at Burtonwood, England. “We furnished 90 per cent of all engines to the Eighth Air Force. We had a nine cylinder and an eighteen cyclinder line doing overhauls on engines. I worked on the eighteen cylinder line.”
Units served with
During 1942 to 1945 Warton Aerodrome was Base Air Depot No. 2, Station 582 of the U.S. 8th Air Force. In the three years it was active it processed over 10,000 aircraft and saw over 45,000 aircraft movements. Every type of American aircraft used in the...
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