Capt Gustave Marinius Heiss III

Capt Gustave Marinius Heiss III

Meridian, Lauderdale County, Mississippi, USA
Death 5 Sep 1942 (aged 29)
Burial Meridian, Lauderdale County, Mississippi, USA
Plot Section 6 Lot 117
Memorial ID 22378426 · View Source
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Gustave was born in Meridian, Mississippi, the youngest of two children born to Gustave Marinius Heiss, Sr. and Bonnie R Barber. His older sister was Rena Augusta. At a young age, his family moved to Texas where he was raised and attended school through the 2nd year of college.

Information about his enlistment is limited, however, records do indicate that in 1940, he was living with his parents in Houston as he conducted pilot training as a Cadet. Once he completed training and was commissioned, he was eventually assigned to the 13th Bomb Squadron, 3rd Bomb Group of the 5th USAAF Command operating in the Pacific.

According to 3rd Bomb Group casualty reports, on 4 September 1942, CPT Guss Heiss of the 13th Bomb Squadron, 3rd Bomb Group, crashed his B-25C Mitchell, #41-12472, "The Queen", into the sea under power while searching for Japanese cruisers and destroyers.

CPT Heiss had turned on his landing lights after several severe turns. The aircraft was seen to side-slip into the sea, 6 miles offshore of the south coast of New Guinea between Hood Point and Kepple Point. It was still under power during a steep turn at low altitude. As the aircraft hit the water it was seen to burst into flames and submerge immediately. It is believed that this error may have been due to pilot fatigue.

All crew members were presumed to have perished during the incident. The crew of B-25C Mitchell #41-12472 were listed as Missing in Action and were eventually listed as Presumed Dead:

Captain Gustave M. Heiss Jr. (#0-392820) from Texas
Technical Sgt. John P. Butler (#6970831) from Louisiana
Sgt. Merritt S. Whimsett (#6911410) from Illinois
Flying Officer Allan R. Page (401145) RAAF

CPT Heiss's name appears on the Tablets of the Missing, located in the Manila American Cemetery, Manila, Philippines. He received the Silver Star Medal, the Purple Heart Medal and other Army Awards posthumously.
(Bio: Rick Ervin)

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  • Created by: Michelle Woodham
  • Added: 22 Oct 2007
  • Find a Grave Memorial 22378426
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Capt Gustave Marinius Heiss III (25 Apr 1913–5 Sep 1942), Find a Grave Memorial no. 22378426, citing Rose Hill Cemetery, Meridian, Lauderdale County, Mississippi, USA ; Maintained by Michelle Woodham (contributor 46636907) .