SSGT Roy Elbert Gosline

SSGT Roy Elbert Gosline

Death 8 Mar 1943 (aged 26)
Burial Decatur, Morgan County, Alabama, USA
Plot Garden 3/Lot 254-2
Memorial ID 43563312 · View Source
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Son of Finley and Matilda Taylor Gosline.
Gunner S/Sgt. Roy E. Gosline KIA
Hometown: Decator Alabama
Squadron: 67th BS 44th Bomb Group
Service #069419
Awards:Air Medal, Purple Heart
Captain Clyde E. Price Pilot
MACR #15570
Target: Targets of Opportunity near Rouen, France
Mission Date: 8-Mar-43
Serial Number:#41-23784
Aircraft Model B-24D
Aircraft Letter:
Aircraft Name: MISS DIANNE
Location: France Crew of 11 8KIA 3 POW

The target was to have been the marshalling yards situated on the west bank of River Seine, south of Rouen. Only nine B-24s of the 44th BG departed the base at 1203 hours, rendezvoused with the 329th Squadron of the 93rd BG, and then proceeded to Beachy Head and entered the French coast over St. Valery. As the formation approached Rouen, they encountered a strong FW 190 formation of 30 to 40 aircraft, which attacked head-on. Spitfires and, for the first time, P-47 Thunderbolts flew air strikes against airfields ahead of our mission. Unfortunately the American fighters encountered heavy opposition, leaving the Liberators unprotected. Two 67th planes were lost.

Captain James O'Brien, with Major Posey as Command Pilot, took off to lead the formation but were forced to abort as a crewmate, John Husselton, passed out in the rear of their plane. They left the formation, radioed the base for an ambulance and landed. Husselton was unloaded and they took off again immediately with only nine men, and caught up to the formation as it was crossing the Channel. He joined the second element position. 67th Squadron ships took over the lead when Captain O'Brien was forced to abort and was looking for the P-47s to take over when Spitfires left their coverage. It was at this moment that the German's FW 190s chose to make their mass frontal attack, catching the American pilots by surprise as they thought the enemy were our P-47s arriving to protect them. Captain Clyde Price, in the lead, and lst Lt. Rbert Blaine on his right wing, were blasted by a swath of cannon fire as the enemy cut through our formation – and both ships went down almost immediately.

Captain O'Brien states that the sight of all those enemy aircraft attacking so fiercely was enough to "empty the bladders" of every man in the formation. And with the two lead ships gone, it was "Cowboys and Indians" from then on to the target of opportunity, and back to the coast again.

Kenneth L. Erhart, gunner on Capt. Price's ship, told his experiences: "We were hit by FW 190s as well as by flak, amidships. Needless to say, with oxygen and hydraulic lines damaged, fire was inevitable. The bail out bell was sounded, which by this time, the ship was well aflame. Due to the nose attack, the flight deck personnel did not make it out. I assisted Sgts. Iris Wyer and Duane Devars out the right waist window, and also checked on Sgt. Fleshman, but he was already dead. I bailed out of the right waist window, and, upon hitting the ground, saw Lt. Gross coming down. His whole abdomen was ripped open and he died in my arms, with the German soldiers looking on. Lt. Gross told me to take his watch and give it to his mother, but the Germans took the watch away from me. "While descending from the burning ship, I was shot at by both FWs and Me 109s! All three of us survivors suffered flak or bullet wounds and burns. Devars and Wyer were captured a day or two later, being unsuccessful in finding help.

I was a volunteer from the Armament Section and Roy Gosline was from the Engineering section. Upon being captured, and after Lt. Gross died, the German soldiers turned me over to the Luftwaffe and SS troops.

Captain Clyde E. Price Pilot KIA
2nd/Lt. Robert E. Forrest Co Pilot KIA
1st/Lt. Jacob A. Augenstene Jr. Navigator KIA
2nd/Lt. Morton P. Gross Bombardier KIA
2nd/Lt. Morton P. Gross Bombardier KIA
T/Sgt. Dalton R. Snell Engineer KIA
T/Sgt. Donald E. Jester Radio Op. KIA
S/Sgt. Roy E. Gosline Gunner KIA
S/Sgt. Deane J. Devars Gunner POW
S/Sgt. Iris C. Wyer Jr. Gunner POW
S/Sgt. Kenneth L. Erhard Gunner POW
Lewis J. Fleshman Gunner KIA

Family Members


Military Marker: Alabama Staff Sgt 44 AAF Bomb Group WW II

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  • Maintained by: John Dowdy
  • Originally Created by: C. R. Lane
  • Added: 26 Oct 2009
  • Find A Grave Memorial 43563312
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for SSGT Roy Elbert Gosline (20 Mar 1916–8 Mar 1943), Find A Grave Memorial no. 43563312, citing Roselawn Gardens Of Memory, Decatur, Morgan County, Alabama, USA ; Maintained by John Dowdy (contributor 47791572) .