|Death: ||Jan. 23, 1944, Myanmar (Burma)|
S/Sgt Gillespie was a gunner on B-24J #42-73067, nicknamed "Rangoon Rosie", asigned to the 10th Air Force, 7th Bombardment Group, 436th Bombardment Squadron. They were on a bombing mission to Mergui on the Malayan peninsula. Shortly after coming off the bomb run the bomber was attacked from the front by a Japanese Zero. The bomber started down with smoke pouring from the tail. Although the plane was under control, fire raged inside and it crash landed on a strip of beach. It slid into the water and began to disintigrate as the forward portion was engulfed in flames. The wreckage came to rest and sank about 75 yards off shore from the village of Thingnaw. Eight men aboard died in the crash. Only the navigator, 1st Lt Charles S Huppman and the flight engineer, T/Sgt Grant L Butcher made it to shore, although both were injured. Huppman died soon after and Butcher was taken prisoner by the Japanese.
Because the recovered remains could not be individually identified, the nine deceased members of the crew were placed in a group burial in Arlington National Cemetery.
Arlington National Cemetery
Plot: Section 34 Site 5023
Created by: Hope
Record added: Jul 20, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial# 14989473
|Photos may be scaled.|
Click on image for full size.