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Winford A Gaines



Units served with

  • 27th Fighter Group

    27th Fighter Group

    The 27th went through two different incarnations during the Second World War. As the 27th Bombardment Group it fought in the Philippines and Java in 1941-42. It was then reformed in the US and sent to North Africa, where it eventually became the 27th...

  • 17th Bomb Squadron

    17th Bomb Squadron

    The 523d Fighter Squadron is an inactive United States Air Force unit. Its last assignment was with the 27th Operations Group stationed at Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico. ...


Associated Place


Event Location Date
Born Elbert County, GA, USA 7 January 1918
Enlisted Fort McPherson, Atlanta, GA 30310, USA 13 August 1941
Shot Down/Captured 98058 Novara di Sicilia ME, Italy 2 August 1943

A-39A 42-83895

POW 85368 Moosburg, Germany 3 August 1943 – May 1945

Stalag 7a

Graduated Athens, GA, USA 1948

University of Georgia
B.S. in Agriculture

Died Elberton, GA 30635, USA 25 December 2008

Winford Gaines was born January 7, 1918. He was the second son of Ora Adams Gaines and Ike Gaines. A graduate of Centerville High School, he received an associate degree from Young Harris College.

In 1939 he joined the Army Air Corps and was sent to Radio School at Scott Field. He received his "flying wings" and was commissioned as a second Lieutenant at Cadet School in San Antonio, Texas in 1942. Following that he was deployed overseas as a fighter pilot assigned to the 27th Fighter Group. He flew P-51 Mustangs during World War II. On August 2, 1943 he was shot down over Sicily and was a Prisoner of War in Germany until April 29, 1945. He was forced to participate in the "Death March" in January 1945. He survived the march and remained a POW until General Patton liberated them. Mr. Gaines was the recipient of the Purple Heart, Air Medal with two oak leaf clusters, World War II Victory Medal, European Medal with four bronze stars, and American Defense Medal. After his release from prison he was commissioned as a Captain and was a test pilot for the US Air Force. He was honorably discharged from the military in 1947. After that he attended the University of Georgia and received a Bachelors Degree in Agriculture in 1948. He retired from USDA Soil Conservation Service after 35 years. Mr. Gaines married Tommie Taylor in 1947. They were married for 53 years. He was a loyal and lifelong member of Coldwater United Methodist Church and a beloved member of the entire Coldwater community.

Enlisted Elberton, GA 30635, USA 31 December 2008

Coldwater Cemetery
Elbert County
Georgia, USA


Date Contributor Update
07 December 2016 02:42:40 466thHistorian Created entry with surname, middlename, firstname, nationality, service number, highest rank, role, events, unit associations, place associations and media associations