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John Washington Gillikin


Assigned to 856BS, 492BG, 8AF USAAF. On the night of August 14-15, 1944, Pilot Norton's B-24D, 42-40172, was attacked by fighters and hit by antiaircraft fire while making a drop to the French Resistance. In a hilly area near Lyon, France, the plane went down and crashed after the drop to the French was made. Sgt. John Gillikin bailed out and was the lone survivor. The French found him badly burned and injured, and nursed him and kept him alive for several weeks until the Allied Forces came to Lyon. From there, he was flown to a hospital in Italy, and soon thereafter, flown back to Augusta, GA, so that his burns could be properly treated. Sgt Gillikin was wounded in action WIA. 15 Aug 1944.

Awards: AM, PH.



  • Richard Norton

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Pilot | 492nd Bomb Group (Heavy)
    On August 14, 1944, pilot Norton in A/C #44-40172 was hit by fighters and anti-aircraft fire while making a drop to French Resistance. In a hilly area near Lyon, plane went down after the drop was made.

Units served with

  • 492nd Bomb Group (Heavy)

    492nd Bomb Group (Heavy)

    The 492nd Bomb Group were assigned to the 8th Air Force in April 1944. They flew 60 missions over occupied Europe from 11 May 1944 until 7 August 1944. ...

  • 856th Bomb Squadron


  • 42-40172 - Lynn Bari II

    B-24 Liberator
    The B-24D, 42-40172, Lynn Bari II, was flown on the low level Ploesti mission, returning safely to Benghazi, Libya. 1 Aug 43. ...

Associated Place

  • North Pickenham

    Military site : airfield
    Built comparatively late during 1943-44 as an Eighth Air Force bomber base, North Pickenham was rather cramped as an airfield site so the main runway was shorter than typical. It had three concrete runways, 50 loop hardstandings and two dispersed T2...


Event Location Date
Born Carteret, NC 19 May 1917

Son of Bert Washington and Rosa Felton [Arthur] Gillikin.

Lived in Beaufort, NC 1942
Enlisted Fort Bragg, NC 16 October 1942

Fort Bragg, North Carolina

Based North Pickenham 1944 – 15 August 1944

Assigned to 856BS, 492BG, 8AF USAAF.

Wounded in action Lyon France 15 August 1944

Sgt. Gillikin was shot down and badly burned bailing out of his B-24D bomber, Lynn Bari II, over Lyon, France. He was found and treated by the French resistance until transported back to the U.S. He was the only survivor of his plane's crash. WIA. 15 Aug 44.

Died 7 May 2004
Buried Bayview Cemetery Morehead City, Carteret County, NC 10 May 2004

Bayview Cemetery
Morehead City, Carteret County, North Carolina


Date Contributor Update
24 February 2022 14:32:40 Al_Skiff Changes to middlename, biography, events, person associations, unit associations and place associations

Date Contributor Update
23 February 2022 15:50:00 Kickapoo Changes to biography, awards and events

American Air Museum in Britain - John W. Gillikin - 42-40172 - Lynn Bari II

Date Contributor Update
23 February 2022 15:16:16 Kickapoo Changes to role and biography

Minor wording , spacing changes. - Kickapoo

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:16:46 AAM AAM ingest

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / MACR 8422 / MACR 8422,Combat Chronology Supplements p. 541 and 194, They Flew by Night, pp. 221-222, / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database