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 • Saint Joseph Cemetery
 • Lockbourne
 • Franklin County
 • Ohio
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Don Gentile
Birth: Dec. 6, 1920
Death: Jan. 28, 1951

World War II American Fighter Ace. He was the only son of Italian immigrants born in Piqua, Ohio. Sickened while a baby by Carbon Monoxide gas and given no chance of recovery by doctors, his frantic parents took him to the Shrine of Our Lady of Consolation in Carey, Ohio hoping for a spiritual cure. Don Gentile recovered and while growing up accompanied his parents on annual visits to the shrine, a vow they made if he recovered. His fascination with flying made him a licensed pilot at Seventeen. Lacking two years of college required to join the U.S. military, he instead headed for England in 1941 and became a member of the RAF and later transferred to the USAF. He soon surpassed his fellow Ohioan Eddie Rickenbacker to become the highest scoring fighter pilot in American history. The USAF decided to remove him from harms way and sent him home after flying 350 combat hours in 182 sorties and the leading ace. General Dwight D. Eisenhower when presenting the Distinguished Flying Cross said to him, "You are a One Man Air Force." A tumultuous reception awaited him in Ohio, but he quietly slipped away to visit Carey, Ohio and the Shrine of Our Lady of Consolation. He was assigned to Wright Field in Dayton as a test pilot. After surviving all the Germans could muster, he was killed in a simple crash of a jet trainer while testing near Andrews AFB, Maryland. Don Gentile was gone at the age of 30. His remains were returned to Columbus, Ohio where a funeral mass was conducted at St. John Baptist Church. Thousands lined High Street to watch as the procession made its way to St. Joseph Cemetery. He was posthumously promoted to major and was inducted into the National Aviation Hall of Fame in Dayton. (bio by: Donald Greyfield (inactive)) 
 
Burial:
Saint Joseph Cemetery
Lockbourne
Franklin County
Ohio, USA
Plot: Section 18 (St. Agatha), lot 434.
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Record added: Jul 13, 2001
Find A Grave Memorial# 22996
Don Gentile
Added by: Ron Moody
 
Don Gentile
Added by: Scott Wilson
 
Don Gentile
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Brent Nimmo
 
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