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Edward J Gignac

Military

Edward Gignac was one of the top ski jumpers in the country pre-war, and had lived in Lebanon, New Hampshire. He attended Kimball Union Academy and Middlebury College, both in skiing scholarships. Enlisting in the Air Corps in April 1941, he served in the Pacific with the 40th FS of the 35th FG in New Guinea, where he was injured in a firefight with Japanese bombers on 18 June 1942, flying a P-39. Badly injured, he managed to fly back to base, crash-landing his ship. That action won him the Silver Star. After a stay in the US, he shipped out for England, where he was assigned to the 352nd Fighter Group/486th Fighter Squadron out of Bodney, England. On 7 June 1944, he was Killed in Action (KIA) when the P-51 he was flying #42-106661 was hit by flak near Le Merlerault, France and the aircraft exploded. He is buried in Epinal American Cemetery. His ETO planes were "Gig's-Up" P47D and "Gig's-UP II" P-51B. A memorial for him was erected in 2000 by the municipality of Voisins-le-Bretonneux, Yvelines Department, France.

Service

Units served with

  • 352nd Fighter Group

    352nd Fighter Group

    Group
    The 352nd Fighter Group were based at Bodney, Norfolk from July 1943 until November 1945 but in the winter months of 1944/1945 detachments moved to bases in Belgium to provide extra air support to ground forces during the Battle of the Bulge and to...

  • 486th Fighter Squadron

Aircraft

  • 42-106661 'Hot Stuff'

    P-51 Mustang
    Assigned to HQ Sqn, 352FG, 8AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) 7-Jun-44. Hit by flak near Le Merlerault, France and exploded. Pilot Maj Edward J Gignac Killed in Action (KIA). MACR 5556.

  • 42-22548 'Gigs Up'

    P-47 Thunderbolt

  • 43-7022 'Little Rebel'

    P-51 Mustang
    Assigned to 486FS, 352FG, 8AF USAAF. Transferred to 317FS, 325FG, 15AF USAAF.

Missions

Associated Place

  • Bodney

    Military site : airfield
    Before the Americans arrived Bodney was a grass-surfaced airfield. So when the 352nd Fighter Group arrived with heavy P-47 Thunderbolts, work was carried out to strengthen its roads and runways with steel matting, concrete and tarmac. Nissen huts also...

Events

Event Location Date
Born Lebanon, Grafton County, New Hampshire, United States 7 September 1918

the son of Clovis and Agnes Gignac

Lived in Lebanon, Grafton County, New Hampshire, United States 1920

US Census 1920

Lived in Lynn, Essex County, Massachusetts, United States 1941
Enlisted Boston, Massachusetts, United States 28 April 1941
Died 7 June 1944

While strafing German prime movers headed to Normandy, the plane Gignac was flying (PZ-J "Hot Stuff" of Willie O Jackson) was hit by light flak in the wing ammo bay and exploded. This was witnessed by Bernard Karl, his wingman and by 1st Lt Richard B. Press.

Buried Epinal American Cemetery and Memorial

Edward Gignac rests at Plot A, Row 33, Grave 28

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
15 November 2017 14:40:09 ED-BB Changes to events
Sources

Corrected typo in birth data

Date Contributor Update
15 November 2017 14:38:34 ED-BB Changes to events
Sources

Deleted field duplicates in Biography

Date Contributor Update
15 November 2017 14:29:37 ED-BB Changes to service number, role, biography, events and mission associations
Sources

NARA WWII Enlistment Records
US Census 1920
WWII Memorial Registry page by his sister Marilyn

Date Contributor Update
09 November 2017 18:27:06 fugari Changes to nickname, role and awards
Sources

JCook Archives

Date Contributor Update
16 December 2016 01:49:46 Marc 352 Changes to biography and events
Sources

This edit was made by Marc Hamel, author and Assistant Historian, 352nd FG Association. Hamel is also researcher and biographer of Gignac.

Date Contributor Update
08 December 2016 10:57:57 Lucy May Changes to highest rank, biography, awards, events, unit associations, place associations and aircraft associations
Sources

Brought in information from duplicate record. Source:
MACR 5556 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database

See also: https://abmc.gov/node/525945#.WEk7tE1viM8

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:08:27 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / MACR 5556 / Ted Damick, VIII Fighter Command pilots list

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