SSgt. Andrew J. Gillespie, ASN 33054101

Aerial Gunner - Swanson & Joy Crews

10th Air Force / 7th Bombardment Group / 436th Bombardment Squadron

Enlisted 2 Apr 42   Killed In Action, 23 Jan 44

Distinguished Flying Cross    Air Medal

(Image/Info Courtesy of Gillespie Family)

SSgt. Gillespie accepting congratulations from Col. C.F. Necrason as he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross & Air Medal. Madhaiganj, India 8 Jan 44

(Image courtesy of 7th BG Historical Foundation)

Swanson Crew

(In No Particular Order)

1Lt. Leonard A. Swanson (P), Lt. Carl B. Hartley (CP) (standing, second from left)
1Lt. Edward K. Weaver (N), 2Lt. Stephen S. Ziminski, SSgt. Leonard P. Schmitt (G)
Pvt. Guy E. Reynolds Jr., SSgt. Paul C. Ballinger, Jr., ? Calla
SSgt. Andrew J. Gillespie Jr. (kneeling, far right) (G)

S/Sgt Gillespie was a gunner on B-24J #42-73067, nicknamed "Rangoon Rosie" (piloted by Capt. Benjamin Joy), assigned 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 disintegrate 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. Butcher was taken prisoner by the Japanese, but survived to be liberated and returned to the United States.

SSgt. Gillespie's Memorial

436th BS Personnel

7th BG Personnel