Tech Sgt. Gilford H. "Gib" Moen, ASN 36265427

Radio Operator - Vaughn Crew

10th Air Force / 7th Bombardment Group / 492nd Bombardment Squadron

KIA 26 October 43

(Images provided by Kristi Goetsch & Karen Beenken)

Sgt. Moen was the radio operator on B-24J #42-73060 "Boogie Woogie Bomb Buggy", assigned to the 10th AF, 7th BG, 492nd BS. En route to Rangoon, Burma, the formation of B-24s, in which this ship was a part, came under attack by enemy fighters. In one of the passes, a Japanese Zero made an attack from about 3-o'clock. As the fighter went through the formation, it struck Moen's bomber at about the waist position, cutting the fuselage in half and tearing off the Zero's tail. Both planes spun out of control and crashed.

The mid-air collision that doomed the crew of the ship.
Painted from memory by SSgt. Thomas L. Grady. (click on image to see larger size.)

The collision was witnessed by TSgt. Peter Hinman: (click on image to see larger size.)

"I was the ball turret operator on the lead ship of the second element and saw the B-24 go down as a result of collision with a Zero.
A Jap Zero made a side attack on our ship from about three o'clock and he continued his course past us toward the B-24 behind. I lost him behind the tail fin and picked him up again. His (the Zero) tail was broken off a few feet behind the trailing edge of the wing and he fell off backwards and went into a spin. The B-24 was broken in half about the waist windows and also went into a slow spin with all four engines still running. I saw one chute open and it was circled by another Zero as he went down."

The report from the lone survivor, Bombardier, 2Lt. Gustaf E. Johnson:

Lt. Johnson was captured by the Japanese, and remained imprisoned until being liberated in 1945

At Home On Leave In 1942 (click on images for larger size)

Sgt. Moen with sisters Evelyn (Moen) Evans (at left) & Thelma (Moen) Sanford

"Gib" and kid sister, Jean

Sgt. Moen with parents Gilbert & Heleborg Moen

Gib & Fiancee Kay Johnson