John Phillip Gibbons

Military
A battle damaged waist gun position on a B-17 Flying Fortress.

Object Number - FRE 6915 - A battle damaged radio room position on a B-17 Flying Fortress of 100th BG. A direct hit by an 88mm killed the radio operator in Miss Irish , flown...

John Gibbons was Pilot of B-17G#42-31968 'Miss Irish' returning from a mission to Marquise/Mimoyecques, France and made an emergency landing at Raydon after taking a direct hit from an 88mm in the radio room on 19 March 1944. RTD. Missing Air Crew Report - MACR 15220.
Stories related by Lt John P. Gibbons to Military Police Company (2002):
'While in the States on the way to his next phase of flight training, John Gibbons was reading Lt Col Beirne Lay's article 'I Saw Regensburg Destroyed' (about the 100th BG and Maj. Gale Cleven's ordeal on August 17, 1943). His recollections were 'I am not this type of guy'. Three months later, he was assigned to the 100th BG, 350th BS (Cleven's old Bomb Squadron) and his first mission was to REGENSBURG on 25 February 1944!
'We flew the first four missions to BERLIN. On the second BERLIN mission, March 4, 1944, we flew as a composite with the 95th BG. We received the recall but the Group leader in the 95th heard it differently. Being a young Second Lt, I was not going to break radio silence to tell him differently. We also flew the March 6th and March 8th missions to Berlin. I think I ended up going to Berlin a total of 7 times.'
'Once while returning from BERLIN on the deck (with my windshield shot out), we were escorted by a P-51 named 'OLD CROW' (flown by Maj Bud Anderson of 357th Fighter Group). We would meet again on a train while I was on leave in the States in between my first and second tour.'
'The aircraft we flew on my 6th mission was MISS IRISH, named by our Crew Chief Chandler. The date was March 19, 1944, and we were to hit a NO BALL in France. My plane was hit by an 88mm shell, blowing a huge hole in the radio compartment and killing my ROG, Sergeant Edward Walker Jr. So much for Milk Runs!'
'MISS IRISH was salvaged. I flew MISS IRISH II, once again named by Chandler. On my 7th mission they requested what I would like to name my next aircraft, which I did. It was called 'LITTLE MIKE'.'
'We flew our first 5 missions as 'Tail End Charlie' as was the custom for all new crews. Once on a practice mission, I was flying so close to my squadron CO, he accused me of trying to kill him!'
'I completed my first tour, then went stateside for 30 days. Why would someone sign up for another tour, guess I felt we had a job to complete. When I returned to the Group (along with and who had also signed up for another tour of duty), I was not assigned a permanent crew nor did I have a specific job but was flying missions as a deputy leader with the 350th BS. During this time I flew my 36th mission, flying deputy lead on a mission over the Ruhr (Happy Valley as it was nicknamed) and we had gone over the target twice and still had not dropped our bombs. I asked my Bombardier if he saw the target and upon getting the affirmative decided to break radio silence. As a green second Lt, I did not speak up on the Berlin mission, but with 35 missions under my belt, I told the other crews to form up on me and we hit the target'
'I was appointed 350th BS Operations officer with help from and I would fly my remaining 14 missions as a Command Pilot. My final mission was April 14, 1945 to Royan. After hostilities ceased, I was made CO of the 418th BS.'

Connections

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Units served with

Official emblem of the 100th Bomb Group, approved 30 March 1944 and replaced 1957
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment

People

  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 100th Bomb Group 350th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 38338409
  • Highest Rank: Technical Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Engineer/Top Turret Gunner
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 100th Bomb Group 350th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: O-464692
  • Highest Rank: First Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Bombardier
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 100th Bomb Group 350th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 18190381
  • Highest Rank: Staff Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Tail Gunner
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 100th Bomb Group 350th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 35683437
  • Highest Rank: Staff Sergeant
  • Role/Job: waist gunner
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 100th Bomb Group 350th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 19101831 at enlistment, then O-755534
  • Highest Rank: First Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Co-Pilot

Aircraft

  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: Our Gal Sal
  • Unit: 100th Bomb Group 482nd Bomb Group 351st Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: Miss Irish
  • Unit: 100th Bomb Group 350th Bomb Squadron

Missions

Places

Events

Event Location Date Description

Born

St Marys, Pottawatomie County, Kansas 1919-11-02
Salina, Saline County, Kansas

Died

2013-01-24

Buried

John Gibbons rests at the Wisconsin Memorial Park, Brookfield, Wisconsin

Revisions

Date31 Aug 2020 08:47:56
ContributorED-BB
Sources

MACR 15220
WWII Draft Card
Veterans Affairs BIRLS death File

Date27 Aug 2020 14:35:02
ContributorED-BB
Sources

Corrected typos and added details in Biography

Date15 May 2018 13:41:37
ContributorLucy May
Sources

Brought in sources from duplicate record:
Michael P. Faley-100th Bomb Group Historian, www.100thBG.com
MACR 15220 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database

Date15 May 2018 13:38:19
ContributorLucy May
Sources

Edits to text for legibility

Date27 Sep 2014 18:16:31
ContributorAAM
Sources

100th Bomb Group Foundation Directory, 2000 - 2001 / Combat Sup / Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia

John Phillip Gibbons: Gallery (5 items)