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TSgt Gilbert Wesley Hatfield
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Birth: Sep. 8, 1917
Klamath Falls
Klamath County
Oregon, USA
Death: May 13, 1945
Florence
Toscana, Italy

Gilbert was the third child second son born to Nelson Pleasant Hatfield and Grace Bernice Jones.

Before leaving for the service he married Elsie Mae Postma and happily took on the responsibility of raising her daughter Jean. He dearly loved both Elsie and his new daughter.

Gilbert was assigned duty in Manduria, Italy. He was on his 50th mission and ready to head home soon.

Group 450th bomb Squadron 722 bomb: The J. C. Word Crew was hit by anti-aircraft fired off the coast of Italy during a bombing mission near Stephano, Italy and all were reported missing.

1st Lt J. C. Word – Pilot, 2nd Lt Norbert T Bertling – Co-Pilot, 2nd Lt Garrett Edward F – Navigator, 2nd Lt John M. Werner– Bombardier, TSgt Gilbert W. Hatfield – Engineer, TSgt Morris Spector - Radio Operator, SSgt Harry Beightol - Assistant Engineer, SSgt James G Shirley – gunner, SSGT Lloyd Whitley-A G, SSGT Paul D Boaz- AAG.


Excerpt from "The War of the Cottontails: Memoirs of a WWII Bomber Pilot", Cubbins, William R and "Shadow: A Cottontail Bomber Crew in World War II" Raiford, Neil Hunter

The 450th Group history says that he was reassigned to the 302nd Bomb Gp in Clovis, New Mexico; however this may have been a temporary stop on his way to the Aleutians. He was replaced by a Major Lewis Orris. When the enlisted men were told about Captain Steward's being fired, the Line Chief, a Master Sergeant named Hatfield, lined them up and marched them out the front gate and over the hill. That meant that they were all A.W.O.L. (that's absent without Leave).

The fact that our next leg was to take more than eleven hours, all over water, caused us some extra concern about the new engine and prop, but our faith in Private Hatfield (who had been a master sergeant up until a couple of months ago) was rewarded. After that long over water flight, we knew that we had the best engineer in the business. We also had a greater respect for Lt. Shanken, our navigator. We hit our estimated time of arrival right on the money. -- By Allen C. Hart.


The J. C. Word Crew was hit by anti-aircraft fire off the coast of Italy during a bombing mission near Stephano, Italy and all were reported missing.
1st Lt J. C. Word – Pilot, 2nd Lt Norbert T Bertling – Co-Pilot, 2nd Lt Garrett Edward F – Navigator, 2nd Lt John M. Werner– Bombardier, TSgt Gilbert W. Hatfield – Engineer, TSgt Morris Spector - Radio Operator, SSgt Harry Beightol - Assistant Engineer, SSgt James G Shirley – gunner, SSGT Lloyd Whitley-A G, SSGT Paul D Boaz- AAG.

Allen was in the hospital so he was the only J.C. Word crew member missing at the time when the plane was shot down by Germans. Pictures of crew on http://www.450thbg.com/real/crews/wordcrew.shtml

Awarded: Air Medal with 6 Oak Leaf Clusters, Purple Heart
 
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  Nelson Pleasant Hatfield (1880 - 1929)
  Grace B Jones Wolford (1893 - 1977)
 
 Siblings:
  Aletha Leigh Hatfield Sanders (1913 - 1980)*
  Gilbert Wesley Hatfield (1917 - 1945)
  Thomas John Hatfield (1919 - 1987)*
  Florence Margaret Hatfield Wise (1924 - 2011)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Inscription:
T SGT 722 BOMB SQ 450 BOMB GP(H) OREG
 
Note: Entered the service from Oregon.
 
Burial:
Florence American Cemetery and Memorial
Florence
Provincia di Firenze
Toscana, Italy
Plot: Tablets of the Missing
 
Maintained by: sallywi
Originally Created by: CWGC/ABMC
Record added: Aug 07, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 56364088
TSgt Gilbert Wesley Hatfield
Added by: John "Jack" Richter
 
TSgt Gilbert Wesley Hatfield
Added by: John "Jack" Richter
 
TSgt Gilbert Wesley Hatfield
Added by: sallywi
 
 
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-Anonymous
 Added: Nov. 8, 2011
Uncle Gilbert rest in peace.. you are always in our thoughts. You sister still talks about you, and I spoke with your daughter recently. Our love and thoughts are with you.
- Sall Wise
 Added: Nov. 7, 2011
Gilbert W. Hatfield
Technical Sergeant, U.S. Army Air Forces
Service # 6566134
722nd Bomber Squadron, 450th Bomber Group, Heavy
Entered the Service from: Oregon
Died: 13-May-45
Missing in Action or Buried at Sea
Tablets of the Miss...(Read more)
- In memory of Scott
 Added: Jul. 30, 2005
 
 
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