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Eugene G Gjertsen

Military

Flew about 15 missions with original crew, then transferred to 784th BS. Flew on B-24 #4251240 (on overseas movement trip from U.S. This a/c was surrendered at Valley Wales. This a/c was eventually assigned to the 392nd BG)

DFC/ AM w/ 3 Oak Leaf Cluster

Service

People

  • Seward Meintsma

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 466th Bomb Group
    Completed a 35 mission tour 25 August 1944 - 16 February 1945

  • John Welsh

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 466th Bomb Group

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Units served with

  • 466th Bomb Group

    466th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 466th Bomb Group flew B-24 Liberators from Attlebridge, Norfolk, during the last year of the war in Europe. The Group flew 232 missions in the course of the year and celebrated the 100th one by inviting local people onto the base to mark the...

  • 784th Bomb Squadron
  • 785th Bomb Squadron

Aircraft

  • 42-94979 Slick Chick

    B-24 Liberator
    Oldest and longest serving 466th BG B-24 to survive the war ...

Associated Place

  • Attlebridge

    Military site : airfield
    Attlebridge was constructed for RAF use and completed to that standard in 1942. However, with news that it was to be assigned to the American Air Force, the runways were extended and additional hardstandings and outbuildings constructed for the heavy...

Events

Event Location Date
Born St Paul, Minnesota 21 April 1923
1st Combat Mission Lübeck, Germany 25 August 1944

"Comes the first mission and it's Lubeck. All goes well as it should when I hear on the interphone, "someone down there is shooting at us!" I look up ahead and sure enough the sky is blossoming with the black bursts from the 88's. Now the moment of truth...there is no wavering or changing direction. We were doing what we came to do. I was doing "follow the leader" navigation and for the first mission it was an adventure. But when we turned at the IP and the lead ship fired the flare, it was evident we were on the bomb run and Lubeck was on the other side of that wall of flak. With time on my hands I was able to put down the tools of the trade and become an observer..."

Died Klamath Falls, OR, USA 12 November 1999

Eugene G. "Gene" Gjertsen, 76, died Friday, November 12, 1999 at his Klamath Falls residence of complications from Parkinson's disease.

He was born in Minnesota to Gustav and Georgia (Ainsley) Gjertsen. When he was 6 years old, he moved with his family to Tacoma, Wash. After graduating from high school, he attended Washington State University until joining the Army Air Corps in 1942 during World War II. He was a navigator on B-24 bombers that flew 30 combat missions over Europe and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal and three Oak Leaf Clusters. He returned to Washington State University where he earned a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering in 1948. He married Barbara "Bebe" Cressey on Aug. 9, 1949. They moved to Longview, Wash., and he went to work for Weyerhaeuser Co. He served for 17 more months in the Air Force during the Korean War before being honorably discharged and resuming his career with Weyerhaueser until retiring in 1980. During that time he was promoted to plant engineer. He then started his own engineering consulting business. He served as chairman of the Apprenticeship Council and was on the Board of Directors of Friends of Collier Park, designing several of the exhibits at the logging museum there. He was a member of First Presbyterian Church, the Rotary Club and Reames Golf & Country Club and a lifetime member of American Society of Mechanical Engineers. Photography and computers were among his favorite hobbies. He also was an avid aviation buff.

Buried Klamath Falls, OR, USA 15 November 1999

Klamath Memorial Park
Klamath Falls
Klamath County
Oregon, USA

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
27 December 2016 00:15:31 466thHistorian Changes to events
Sources

466th BG Archives - Letter from Eugene Gjertsen dated 15 May 1989

Date Contributor Update
09 May 2016 03:23:14 466thHistorian Changes to events
Sources

466th BG Archives

Date Contributor Update
22 May 2015 21:43:01 466thHistorian Changes to role
Sources

466th BG Historian

Date Contributor Update
19 February 2015 04:09:42 466thHistorian Changes to biography, awards, events, person associations, place associations and aircraft associations
Sources

466th BG Historian

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:09:24 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

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

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