Jesse W Gonnam

media-19624.jpeg UPL 19624 Jesse W. Gonnam with his P-47


Object Number - UPL 19624 - Jesse W. Gonnam with his P-47

Jesse W Gonnam enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps and graduated as a fighter pilot.

In October of 1942 he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant at Foster Field in Victoria, TX. While there he married Gwendolyn Walker, a fellow graduate from Mazon Township High School.
On a mission 23 April 1944 his aircraft was shot down and he was taken POW

He was stationed in England with the 352nd Fighter Squadron of the 353rd Fighter Group, and flew P-47s over the European Continent. On 7 January 1944, he shot down three Fw190s. For a description of this mission see:…

On 23 April 1944 he was shot down in P-47 #42-76394 over Achmer, Germany. He was taken as a Prisoner of War and held in Stalag Luft III.

His nephew remembers:
'Jesse was like a lot of his generation; he did not talk about his war experiences very much. My father and he farmed together in Grundy County Illinois and I worked with him a lot without him ever telling me much about what he experienced.'

'It appears that during the war he was considered an Ace and was listed as one in a number of press releases. According to a librarian at the 8th AF Museum in Pooler, Ga after the war the USAF changed a number of records so that all pilots and groups were credited in the same way. Probable’s and shared kills were no longer accepted.'

'It was unfortunate he was shot down so early as he was one of the more accomplished pilots in the early part of the war. This was about the time the mission for the P-47 groups was changed from bomber escort to air-to-ground assault. He was shot down strafing a canal and airfield near Achmer. The change in mission did not do him much good.'


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Units served with


  • Aircraft Type: P-47 Thunderbolt
  • Unit: 353rd Fighter Group 352nd Fighter Squadron



  • Site type: Prisoner of war camp
  • Known as: Stalag Luft III, Sagan, Germany


Event Location Date Description


Vienna Township, IL, USA 18 February 1919


Married Gwendolyn Walker

Victoria, TX, USA 22 August 1942


Prisoner of War (POW)

Germany 23 April 1944 - 6 June 1945


Morris, IL 60450, USA 5 August 2002


Date25 May 2022 09:33:59
ChangesChanges to biography

Jonah's Feet are Dry

Date8 Jan 2016 13:53:17
ContributorLucy May
ChangesChanges to biography, events and place associations
Date8 Jan 2016 13:10:20
ContributorLucy May
ChangesChanges to events

Correspondence with Kerry Gonnam.
Also Gwendolyn's obituary:…

Date23 Dec 2015 15:31:07
ChangesChanges to media associations

Private Collection: Kerry Gonnam

Date23 Dec 2015 15:29:29
ChangesChanges to awards

Jesse Gonnam Obituary. Morris Daily Herald. Morris, Ill 8/6/2002

Date23 Dec 2015 14:42:55
ChangesChanges to highest rank

Jesse Gonnam Obituary . Morris Daily Herald, Morris, Illinois. Aug 6, 2002

Date27 Sep 2014 18:15:15
ChangesAAM ingest

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / MACR 4315 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database / Ted Damick, VIII Fighter Command pilots list

Jesse W Gonnam: Gallery (6 items)