42-106518

 

On 4 December 1944, a reconnaissance flight of the 14th Air Force, 51st Fighter Group, 25th Fighter Squadron, a P-51B-10NA, # 42-106518, departed the airfield at Kunming, China, and was last known to be about 15 miles south of Lang Son. The pilot was 2ndLt George E. Gamble Jr., 0-821696, and he was killed in action making a strafing pass. A witness was 1stLt Shirley G. Wilson, 0-813274. Lt. Wilson circled the scene of the crash and saw the wreckage.

 

1stLt Wilson reported: The flight was headed SW of the railroad out of Lang Son. They sighted an enemy train with two engines, one on the front and one back. He made a pass. His wigman was too close so started a pass 180 degrees to him. Wilson told Gamble to drop his tanks and hit the target. Gamble was then at a few thousand feet and made his run. Wilson saw an explosion and thought Gamble shot up the train. Wilson did not see him pull off the target and called him but got no answer. He circled and made at least ten passes when he saw small bits of wreckage. On the last pass, he made it with flaps down at very slow speed and saw the largest piece of wreckage, a wing tip with part of the Air Corps insignia on it. He made as many passes as his ammunition allowed and hit the train engine and cars. He then returned to base. The crash location map Lt. Wilson drew showed the crash site nearest to Lang Giai, along the railroad line. A second map plces it near Lang Giai but almost at the village of Ban Thloc Sinh.

 

GAMBLE, GEORGE EDWARD, JR., Second Lieutenant, # 0-8216896, USAAF

 

George E. Gamble, Jr., was born on 6 April 1916, in New York to George E. Gamble (1885-1969) and Marie Catherine (Vogt) Gamble (1887-1965) (married 8 Decmber 1908 in Monroe, NY). A sister was Rita (Gamble) Brett (1923-1949).

 

He enlisted 15 February 1943 in the USAAF and completed fighter flight training. He earned his commission and pilot wings. He was sent overseas to 14th Air Force in China. On 4 December 1944, a reconnaissance flight of the 14th Air Force, 51st Fighter Group, 25th Fighter Squadron, a P-51B-10NA, # 42-106518, departed the airfield at Kunming, China, and was last known to be about 15 miles south of Lang Son. 2ndLt George E. Gamble Jr., 0-821696, and he was killed in action making a strafing pass. 1stLt Wilson told Gamble to drop his tanks and hit the target. Gamble was then at a few thousand feet and made his run. Wilson saw an explosion and thought Gamble shot up the train. Wilson did not see him pull off the target and called him but got no answer. He circled and made at least ten passes when he saw small bits of wreckage. On the last pass, he made it with flaps down at very slow speed and saw the largest piece of wreckage, a wing tip with part of the Air Corps insignia on it. He made as many passes as his ammunition allowed and hit the train engine and cars. He then returned to base. The crash location map Lt. Wilson drew showed the crash site nearest to Lang Giai, along the railroad line. A second map plces it near Lang Giai but almost at the village of Ban Thloc Sinh. A marker was placed in his memory in the Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, Rochester, New York.