copyright © Wartime Heritage Association 2012-2024 Website hosting courtesy of - a company
Wartime Heritage ASSOCIATION
Remembering World War II
Name: Roy Crosby Gehue Rank: Second Lieutenant Service Number: O-707382 Service: 36th Bomber Squadron, 801st Bomber Group, Heavy 8th Air Force, United States Army Air Forces Awards: Purple Heart Date of Birth: July 2, 1917 Place of Birth: West Enfield, Penobscot, Maine, USA Date of Enlistment: January 13, 1941 Place of Enlistment: McDill Field, Avon Park, Florida, USA Age at Enlistment: 23 Serial Number (Enlistment): 14025966 Trade: Electrician Marital Status: Single Religion: Protestant Education: Completed 4 years of high school Height: 5 feet, 10 inches Complexion: Ruddy Eye Colour: Brown Hair Colour: Brown Date of death: July 5, 1944 Age: 27 Cemetery: Bear River (Mount Hope) Cemetery, NS Listed on the Bear River War Memorial Monument in Nova Scotia Roy Crosby Gehue was the son of Stephen James (1879-1945) and Rhoda May Gehue (1886-1956). His parents were both born in Bear River, Nova Scotia. Born in Maine in 1917, by 1935, Roy was living in Bear River, Nova Scotia. He registered for the draft on October 16, 1940 in Columbus, Georgia. Working as an electrician, his employer was the Ringling Brothers Circus in Sarasota, Florida. He indicated his home address at the time as 68 Westland Avenue in Boston, Massachusetts with his friend Manley James Sproul (b. 1915). Roy was a Private in the Air Corps in January 1941. By 1944 he was a Navigator in the 36th Bomb Squadron of the 801st Bomb Group in England. The 801st Bomb Group was established as part of the Eighth Air Force in late March 1944 to carry out 'Carpetbagger' missions. These were night missions over France and other parts of occupied Europe to support resistance forces by dropping in agents, supplies and leaflets. The B-24 Liberators flown by the Group were painted black to help the crews evade detection by enemy anti-aircraft positions. Serving as the Navigator, Roy Gehue was killed in the loss of B-24D Liberator known as '"Star Spangled Hell", #42- 72873. His aircraft took off from RAF Harrington in Northamptonshire, England at 11: 13 pm on July 4, 1944 on a secret Carpetbagger mission (Known as Mission “Ventriloquist 35”) of weapons and supplies delivery to the French Underground in the Loir-et-Cher area, France. After successful drop, shot down by ME110 over Orléans, France. The aircraft caught fire and crashed at 12:10 am in the morning on July 5, near Champgirault at Trancrainville (Eure and Loire), France. The Co-Pilot, Second Lieutenant Edward Tappan, was the only survivor. Roy Gehue and the six other members of the eight-man crew were killed in the mid-air explosion and they are commemorated on a plaque on a wall at the entrance to the Trancrainville cemetery. The plaque to their memory was inaugurated on August 14, 1994 in Trancrainville in the presence of Co-Pilot Edward Tappan. Roy was initially buried at the Les Aubrais cemetery in Orléans, France and then re-interred at the temporary US Military Cemetery in Solers near Melun (Seine-et-Marne), France. His remains were repatriated to Canada at the request of his family and he was laid to rest at the Bear River Mount Hope Cemetery in Nova Scotia. Watch the story of the Carpetbagger Missions. In addition to Second Lieutenant Roy Crosby Gehue, Navigator, and Second Lieutenant Edward Tappan, the Co-Pilot, the other 6 crew were: Second Lieutenant John Oscar Broven Pilot Service Number O-1574610 (and 32206722 at enlistment) Second Lieutenant Alfred Caswell Emert Bombardier Service Number O-688180 (and 14132120 at enlistment) Sergeant Jesse Ray Ellis Left Waist Gunner Service Number 18098768 Staff Sergeant Harry Lee Sparks Engineer and Top Turret Gunner Service Number 31331737 Sergeant Michael Joseph Pranzetelli Tail Gunner Service Number 31331737 Staff Sergeant William Friedkas Radio Operator Service Number 32860380
Roy Crosby Gehue
Return To Links