GILLESPIE, ANDREW JOSEPH, JR., Staff Sergeant, # 33054101, USAAF

 

Andrew J. Gillespie, Jr., was born 26 July 1914 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to Andrew J. Gillespie (1883-1948) and Margaret M. (Stoops) Gillespie (1889-1977). Siblings included Catherine V. Gillespie (1914-    ), adopted, Regina F. Gillespie (1915-    ), adopted. His grandfather was Andrew Gillespie (1845-    ), immigrated in 1880, a naturalized citizen from Ireland. In 1920, his grandfather was already widowed.

 

He registered for the WW II draft in 1940 while working at the Hellwig Silk Dyeing Co. He described himself as 5’9”, 142 lbs, with blond hair and brown eyes. While living at 808 E. Westmoreland St., Philadelphia, PA, he enlisted at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on 4 April 1942, and after training, was sent overseas on 4 April 1942 to India. On 23 January 1944, B-24J, # 42-73067 (“Rangoon Rosie”), departed Madhaigunj, India, on a bombing mission to Mergui, Malayan Peninsula. It was assigned to the 10th Air Force, 7th Bomb Group, 436th Bomb Squadron. It was seen to crash at about 1610 hours at 12º30’ North - 95º 30’ East, in Malaya, shot down by enemy aircraft. It was noted to be a battle casualty. Its crew were killed in action, except TSgt Grant L. Butcher, who was wounded and captured by the Japanese. A Graves Registration team recovered remains from where crew was buried. Unable to distinguish the remains, they were buried in a single casket group burial in Arlington National Cemetery 25 July 1949, Section 34, grave 5023. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Purple Heart.