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Michael W Gillen

Military

Michael Gillen was Radio Operator on board B-17 #42-30259 'Damifino II' on a 24 September 1943 practice flight to test PFF equipment and technique. Intercepted by enemy fighters and shot down. Ditched North Sea. 5 men died. Michael was among the 5 men who were rescued by Royal Navy torpedo boats and spent the night with them on the French coast. Returned to duty. MACR 778. He was later assigned to the Donald H. Moede crew and completed his tour.

Service

People

  • Bruce Alshouse

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 100th Bomb Group
    Completed 25 missions from 23 September 1943 - 6 March 1944. Shot down 24 September 1943 in B-17 #42-30259 'Damifino II' on a practice flight to test PFF equipment and technique. Intercepted and attacked by enemy fighters, the Fortress was riddled and...

  • James Dalton

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator
    James Dalton was Navigator on board B-17 #42-30259 on a 24 September 1943 practice flight to test PFF equipment and technique. Intercepted by enemy fighters and shot down. Ditched North Sea. James was picked up by a Royal Navy torpedo motor boat, but...

  • Francis De Cooman

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner
    Francis De Cooman was Ball Turret Gunner on board B-17 #42-30259 on a 24 September 1943 practice flight to test PFF equipment and technique. Intercepted by enemy fighters and shot down. Ditched North Sea. He was among the 5 men killed, 5 others were...

  • Theodore Don

    Military | Captain | Bombardier
    Theodore Don was Bombardier on board B-17 #42-30259 'Damifino II' on a 24 September 1943 practice flight to test PFF equipment and technique. Intercepted by enemy fighters and shot down. Ditched North Sea. 5 men died. Theodore was among the 5 who were...

  • Arthur Gibbons

    Military | First Lieutenant | Navigator

  • John Gossage

    Military | Lieutenant | Co-Pilot / Pilot | 100th Bomb Group
    Shot down 24 September 1943 on a practice flight in B-17 #42-30259 'Damifino II'. Plane ditched in the North Sea. 5 Killed In Action; 5 rescued, Gossage among them - Missing Air Crew Report MACR 778. On a mission November 5, 1943 to Gelsenkirchen on B...

  • William Grier

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot
    William Grier was Co-Pilot on board B-17 #42-30259 'Damifino II' on a 24 September 1943 practice flight to test PFF equipment and technique. Intercepted by enemy fighters and shot down. Ditched North Sea. William was among the 5 men killed, 5 were...

  • William Humphrey

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Top Turret Gunner
    William Humphrey was Top Turret Gunner on board B-17 #42-30259 'Damifino II' on a 24 September 1943 practice flight to test PFF equipment and technique. Intercepted by enemy fighters and shot down. Ditched North Sea. 5 men died. William was among the 5...

  • Clyde Lovell

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Left Waist Gunner
    Clyde Lovell was Left Waist Gunner on board B-17 #42-30259 'Damifino II' on a 24 September 1943 practice flight to test PFF equipment and technique. Intercepted by enemy fighters and shot down. Ditched North Sea. Clyde was among the 5 men killed, 5...

  • Ralph Schulte

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Right Waist Gunner | 100th Bomb Group
    Ralph Schulte enlisted in September 1942 and began an intensive course of study in aviation mechanics at the Army Air Forces Technical Training Command, Amarillo Army Air Field, Texas. He got his wings at Fort Myers, Florida in 1943 and was sent...

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Units served with

Aircraft

  • 42-30259 DAMIFINO II

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 8/5/43; Smoky Hill 25/4/43; Kearney 27/5/43; Dow Fd 7/6/43; Assigned 349BS/100BG [XR-N] Thorpe Abbotts 10/6/43. Was flying on a practice flight 24 September 1943 to test PFF equipment and technique. Intercepted and shot down by enemy...

Missions

  • VIII Air Support Command 70

    24 September 1943
    The German airfield of Beauvais/Tille, France is the target fro a combined force of 72 B-26s freom 323BG (36) and 322BG (36). 66 aircraft are effective on the target. There are no losses, but 14 aircraft are damaged. The bomber gunners claim 1-0-0 of...

Associated Place

  • Thorpe Abbotts

    Military site : airfield
    Home of the 'Bloody Hundredth’, a Bomb Group with a reputation for high casualty rates, Thorpe Abbotts was under USAAF control from June 1943 to the end of the war. Some of the airfield survives today, and the control tower houses the 100th Bomb Group...

Events

Event Location Date
Born New York City, New York 9 September 1919

the son of Patrick and Catherine Gillen

Lived in 1942

Hudson County, New Jersey

Enlisted 27 July 1942

Newark, New Jersey

Rescued in the North Sea 24 September 1943

by a Royal Navy torpedo boat after ditching of B-17 42-30259
and returned to duty

Honorably discharged 9 October 1945
Buried 2002

Michael Gillen rests at the Brigadier General William C. Doyle Memorial Cemetery, Arneytown, Burlington County, New Jersey

Died 27 May 2002

Wrightstown, Burlington County, New Jersey

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
04 March 2020 01:05:46 jmoore43 Changes to biography
Sources

Added a "-" to the A/C serial number in the "Summary biography" to aid clarity.

Date Contributor Update
03 May 2019 17:00:25 lowbuckbob Changes to media associations
Sources

TJDon archives

Date Contributor Update
25 April 2019 08:24:16 ED-BB Changes to biography, awards, events, person associations, place associations and mission associations
Sources

MACR 778
NARA WWII Enlistment records
US Census 1930
VA Gravesite Locator

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:20:13 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / MACR 778 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database / self; 100th Bomb Group Foundation Directory, 2000 - 2001; MACR 778

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