Assigned to 575BS, 391BG, 8AF USAAF. Bomb/Nav of “Silver Dollar,” B-26C 42-107671, shot down about 30 miles south of their target, the railroad viaduct at Ahrweiler, Germany. 23-Dec-44. A/C last seen with starboard engine feathered and port engine ablaze. Prisoner of War (POW). MACR 11661.
Sole survivor despite the rest of the crew baling out sucessfully, he ended up hung up in a tree, to be later found by Wehrmacht soldiers, stating that he heard small arms fire after he landed and was convinced his crewmates were shot by SS troops.
Awards: POW, WWII Victory, EAME.
Post war: Remained in USAF rising to rank of Major.
Military | First Lieutenant | Bomber pilot | 391st Bomb Group
1st Lieutenant James L. Gatlin was born August 9, 1919. His next of kin were his aunt, Jessie G. Faircloth, and a cousin, Ruth N. Taylor. He was from Jacksonville, Florida.
Units served with
"The heaviest losses sustained by the 391st Bombardment Group in a single operation occurred on 23 December 1944, after an attack on the railroad viaduct at Ahrweiler, Germany (11). Upon completion of the second bomb run, the formation was attacked by...
Assigned to 575BS, 391BG, 9AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) bombing mission to railroad viaduct at Ahrweiler, Germany. Shot down about 30 miles south of the target, 23-Dec-44. Hit in the bomb bay by flak and attacked by enemy A/C, last seen with...
Military site : airfield
Built in 1943 as an Eighth Air Force bomber base, Matching was transferred to the Ninth Air Force and first occupied in January 1944 by the 391st Bomb Group, equipped with B-26s. The station had three concrete runways, 50 loop hardstandings and two...
||28 March 1919
||Los Angeles, CA, USA
||15 June 1942
||1944 – 23 December 1944
Assigned to 575BS, 391BG, 8AF USAAF.
|Prisoner of War (POW)
||85368 Moosburg, Germany
||23 December 1944 – May 1945
Prisoner of War (POW). Stalag Luft 7a.
||23 December 1944
Shot down about 30 miles south of their target, the railroad viaduct at Ahrweiler, Germany. 23-Dec-44. A/C last seen with starboard engine feathered and port engine ablaze. POW. MACR 11661.
||Riverside, CA, USA
Riverside National Cemetery
||Riverside County, CA, USA
||22 October 1990