Database Search

You are in the database section of the website.

Select a record category from RECORDS above. When you have selected a category, you will see search options for that category above the record list. 

Most fields require at least three characters. When you submit your query, the search engine will return all records that contain your search term.

Note that when searching for an aircraft serial number, you must enter the full serial number without the leading "4" and without a dash in the Aircraft SN search field. For example, you would enter 42-37772 as 237772.

The Personnel name field searches both last and first names, so if you enter the search term, "Russ", the search engine will return both Russell Abel and James Russell.

You narrow the search by entering more characters into the search field. For example, "Russ" returns many hits. "Russell" returns fewer hits. The same principle applies to all queries.

The POW and KIA categories are list only and are not searchable.

LT  Stewart J. GILLISON

UNIT: 351st BOMB Sqdn POSITION: NAV

Lt Stewart Gillison, Nav on William Terminello Crew and Lead Navigator on Berlin Mission Feb 3, 1945 on Lt Ernst Crew with Maj Robert Rosie Rosenthal as Command Pilot. Received Silver Star. 

SERIAL #: STATUS: REC
MACR:

Comments1: 3 FEB 45 BERLIN (received Silver Star)

COMMENTS & NOTES

MEMO 1:

CREW

2ND LT WILLIAM F. TERMINELLO, JR.      P CPT 26 OCT 44 HANOVER,TANK WKS & MITBURG, OIL REF
2ND LT JOSEPH TRAPNELL                   CP CPT 25 DEC 44 KAISERLAUTERN, MY  TAPS:1987 
2ND LT STEWART J. GILLISON            NAV EVA 03 FEB 45  BERLIN  FLYING AS COMMAND NAV WITH ERNST CREW
2ND LT FRANK A. RUBICK                    BOM NOC
S/SGT LOUIS QUIJADA                       ROG CPT 10 SEP 44 NURNBURG
S/SGT RUSSELL L. HEGER                   TTE CPT 10 SEP 44 NURNBURG TAPS: 14 FEB 1988
SGT ROBERT J. HANSER                     LWG NOC
SGT JAMES M. JONES                         RWG NOC
SGT THOMAS A. PALMER                     BTG CPT 10 SEP 44 NURNBURG TAPS:  7 NOV  1993
SGT GEORGE J. HARTOS                        TG CPT 10 SEP 44 NURNBURG TAPS: 26 MAR 1971

349TH SQDN.. CREW JOINED THE 100TH ON 26 MAY 1944.  CREW FLEW 42-97834 XR-J  AND 42-97770 (PFF-RADAR EQUIPPED A/C STATIONED AT 95TH BOMB GROUP).  ALL A/C FLOWN BY TERMINELLO CREW WERE CALLED  "TERRIBLE TERMITE" BUT NO NOSE ART HAS BEEN FOUND PAINTED ON ANY OF THE AIRCRAFT. THE A-2 JACKET OF LT GILLISON WAS PAINTED WITH THIS NAME AND ARTWORK. 

TRAPNELL LATER HAD HIS OWN CREW. 10 SEP 44 THIS CREW WITH ROSENTHAL AS COMMAND PILOT CRASHED LANDED IN FRANCE..jb
AFTER 9 MISSIONS THIS CREW ASSIGNED TO LEAD CREW TRAINING.  2ND LT JOSEPH TRAPNELL WAS ASSIGNED HIS OWN CREW AND WE LOST TWO GUNNERS (SGT HANSER AND SGT JONES) TO MAKE ROOM FOR A FORMATION OFFICER AND A RADAR OPERATOR (MICKEY).  SGT PALMER AND SGT HARTOS BECAME WAIST GUNNERS ON THE LEAD CREW.   

"AS A PATHFINDER (PFF) CREW, WE WERE STATIONED AT HORHAM (HOME OF THE 95TH BG AND 13TH COMBAT WING HQ).  HORHAM WAS THE ONLY BASE EQUIPPED TO SERVICE THE RADAR EQUIPMENT IN THE 13TH CBW.  ON A MISSION DAY, WE WOULD HAVE TO GET UP EARLY, FLY OVER TO THORPE ABBOTTS, FLY THE MISSION, GO THROUGH DEBRIEFING AND THEN FLY BACK TO HORHAM. THIS MADE FOR A LONG DAY AND WE WERE NOW SEPERATED FROM OUR BUDDIES IN THE 349TH, THIS DID NOT MAKE US HAPPY."  (LOUIS QUIJADA FROM HIS BOOK "RED WHITE AND BLUE PARACHUTES")

MISSION LIST OF S/SGT LOUIS QUIJADA (mpf 2001)

 DATE  MISSION     COMMAND PILOT

1. 02/06/44 BOULOGNE
2. 05/06/44 ABBEVILLE
3, 06/06/44 CAEN, D-DAY
4. 06/06/44 FALAISE
5. 08/06/44 TOURS
6. 12/06/44 ROSIERES/DUNKIRK
7. 15/06/44 WILSTER
8. 18/06/44 BRUNSBUTTELKOOG
9. 19/06/44 CORME ECLUSE
10. 21/06/44   RUHLAND     (flying with Lt Cumming Crew on 1ST RUSSIAN SHUTTLE)
11. 26/06/44   DROHOBYCZ (flying with Lt Cumming Crew on 1ST RUSSIAN SHUTTLE)
12. 03/07/44   AARD (Rumania) (flying with Lt Cumming Crew on 1ST RUSSIAN SHUTTLE)
13. 05/07/44   BEZIERS.      (flying with Lt Cumming Crew on 1ST RUSSIAN SHUTTLE) 
14. 07/07/44 GOTTINGEM
15. 08/07/44 LELENTS
16. 11/07/44 MUNICH
17. 12/07/44 MUNICH
18. 14/07/44 NEUVILLE MAQUIS SUPPLY DROP
19. 17/07/44 NO-BALL
20. 04/08/44 HAMBURG
21. 05/08/44 MAGDEBURG     MAJ.   ZELLER
22. 14/08/44 LUDWIGSHAVEN    CAPT. GORSKI
23. 15/08/44 VENLO      MAJ. ROSENTHAL
24. 24/08/44 RUHLAND     MAJ. EMBERSON
25. 25/08/44 POLITZ      COL. PRICE
26. 26/08/44 BREST      COL TOM JEFFREY
27. 30/08/44 BREMEN
28. 09/09/44 DUSSELDORF
29. 10/09/44 NURNBURG     MAJ. ROBERT ROSENTHAL

LEAD CREW SEPTEMBER 10, 1944, NURNBURG  PFF A/C 42-97770
 
MAJOR ROBERT "ROSIE" ROSENTHAL  COM P
1ST LT WILLIAM F. TERMINELLO, JR  P
1ST LT MELVIN KODAS    FORMATION OFFICER/TAIL GUNNER
2ND LT STEWART J. GILLISON   NAV
CAPT. WOODROW W.  MCGILL  COM NAV
LT GREGORY MADDOX    RAD
2ND LT FRANK RUBICK    BOM
S/SGT RUSSELL L. HEGER   TTE
S/SGT LOUIS QUIJADA    ROG
SGT THOMAS A. PALMER   WG
SGT GEORGE J. HARTOS   WG
 

100thBG Question Submission messages
 = 240email = m_palmer@mindspring.comuname 
= Mark Palmer comments =  If this is the correct form, please add my father to the list:Thomas A. PalmerTerminello Crew/Terrible TermiteDied: Nov. 7, 1993

When this crew went down on 3/2/45, TARGET: BERLIN
the crew list was as follows:  MACR #12046, A/C#44 8379.  MICRO - FICHE #4417

Maj Robert Rosenthal           Command Pilot     Landed in Russian Lines
Capt John Ernst                        P                  POW
1st Lt Arthur I..Jacobson          CP                  POW  (from Crew of Lt. G. Brown)
1st Lt Stewart J. Gillison      Command NAV      EVA  (from Crew of Lt Terminello)
1st Lt Louis C. Chappel           NAV                 KIA
1st Lt Robert H. Stropp       Radar NAV          Landed in Russian Lines
1st Lt Eugene E. Lockhart     BOM                  KIA
T/Sgt Charles H. Webber     ROG                Landed in Russian Lines 
T/Sgt Dugger C. West        TTE                  POW
S/Sgt Warren Winters         WG                  POW
S/Sgt G.A. Windisch            TG                  Landed in Russian Lines
Ernst's leg amputated  in German Hospital night of 3/2/45 & he was soon exchanged.

See "CONTRAILS" p.131 & S.O.C. p.95. Also p.219/223 of "FLYING FORTRESS" by E.Jablonski.

EYEWITNESS REPORT from MACR #  "A/C #44 8379 was hit by flak,reported to be a ground 
rocket a few seconds before bombs away. A/C continued on run and dropped bombs.  Fire and 
dense white smoke was seen in the fuselage and bomb bay, including the cockpit.  Bomb bay 
doors closed and then reopened.  Pilot opened his window and peeled gently off to the 
right,  directing deputy leader to take over on VHF.   A/C headed NE and flew level for a few 
moments while six members bailed out (3 appeared to come from waist or tail and 3 from 
bomb bay..There was a small explosion in #3 engine nacelle and thd A/C headed down, burning 
and beginning to spin when last seen at 15/000 feet.  Observers believe entire crew had an 
excellent chance to bail out."


                              349TH BOMBARDMENT SQUADRON (H) ARMY AIR FORCES
                                            Office of the Operations Officer
                                                        APO 569

4 August 1944

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:

On 17 July 1944 at 0925 hours the following Combat Crew, assigned to this organization, parachuted from an abandoned B-17G somewhere over England. Aircraft was abandoned account of fire.

1st Lt. Harold L. Heyneman  O-681539        (Navigator/Bombardier)
2nd Lt. Joseph Trapnell IV    O-818761        (Pilot)
2nd Lt. Melvin L. Kodas        O-503283        (Copilot)
T/Sgt Murry W. Holditch      18178502       (Top Turret Gunner)
T/Sgt. John P. Cooper           32931713       (Radio Operator Gunner)
Sgt  Adam C. Stoppel           17088192        (Left Waist Gunner)
S/Sgt. Robert Patrick             14065993        (Right Waist Gunner)
S/Sgt. William A. Geigle      33188079        (Ball Turret Gunner)
S/Sgt. Clare R. Harnden        16084649        (Tail Gunner)
S/Sgt. Byron R. Greene         31289048        (Toggelier)


FRED W. CRAFT JR.                                                                                              
1st Lt.. Air Corps.
Asst Ops Officer.


The aircraft on July 17, 1944 was A/C# 42-102977 was called "TRAPS".

Subj: Re: Crew list July 14, 1944  
Date: 5/29/2003 10:37:15 AM Pacific Daylight Time 
From: Heine48 
To: MPFaley 
 
My father was bombardier/navigator qualified (two ratings) When Lt. Fred Robertson the regular navigator was assigned to lead crews my father was assigned on the missions as navigator.

Jim Heyneman
 


The following form contents were entered on 7th Aug 3
Date = 7 Aug 3 00:41:02
subject = TAPS REPORT
messages = 1108
EMAIL = jimmylouie@cox.net
UNAME = Susan Dickey
DIED = Stewart James Gillison
DEATH_DATE = March 10, 2003
UNIT = 349th
POSITION = Navigator
RELATION = Child
COMMENTS = My father was a Captain in the USAF, stationed at Thorpe Abbotts in England during WWII.  He participated in the envasions of Normandy and Berlin.  During the latter, he was shot down and spent nearly a month missing in action.  My father was the recipient of the Distinguished Flying Cross with one Oak Leaf Cluster,  the Air Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters , and was recommended for the Silver Star (I find no record that he was ever awarded but recommended only).  During his tour, he flew 17 leads including two of the division and eight wing leads.  After his MIA status, he returned to duty and became the 351st Squadron Navigator.  He was prompted to Assistant Group Navigator before returning to the USA


Subj: Re: TAPS REPORT  
Date: 8/6/2003 9:07:56 PM Pacific Daylight Time 
From: jimmylouie@cox.net 
To: MPFaley@aol.com 
Sent from the Internet (Details) 
 
Michael

I have all and everything you have requested.  Give me a few days to make copies and I can mail what I have to you.  I have all of his missions logs (originals), citations, and miscellaneous other "paper".  I even found the memo authorizing him to receive new clothing on May 1, 1945  because he had been MIA.
 
You are correct.  The listing of POW is incorrect.  According to my father, he bailed out after piece of scrapnel pierced his flight jacket zipper and killed the bombadier next to him.  He tried to stuff his handkerchief in his head wound to stop the bleeding but the bombadier died in his arms before he bailed out.  He said everyone bailed together that was alive at the time.  He landed somewhere in enemy territory alone.  He walked during the night and hid during the day and at sometime met up with a French Resistance soldier who spoke no English but they somehow were able to communicate.  They travelled together I think through Poland (does that make sense) and ended up in Russian hands.  I have a Vgram that he sent to my Grandma from Italy telling her that he was alive.  I have pictures too but I am not sure where they were taken (could be Thorpe Abbotts or not).  
 
I will have to visit Kinkos to make the copies as the flight plans are on large paper and I don't trust leaving them at Kinkos for them to copy and will take the time to do myself as well as make picture copies.  I am more than willing to give you anything I have.  
 
I visited Thorpe Abbotts a few years ago and was amazed at the museum.  Someday I will donate to it as I have my dad's flight jacket (the one with the hole in it from the mission where he was MIA), lots of "paper" and even have a K Ration still in tact!  My mom has his Eisenhower jacket too.  I can't believe they kept all of this as my dad refused to talk about the war to anyone.  I knew very little until recently. 
 
Bill Terminillo, Louis Ouijada, and someone else I did not know have recently called my mom.  
 
I will forward to your address ASAP.  I live in Oceanside CA!!!!  Small world


Subj: Re: TAPS REPORT  
Date: 8/19/2003 7:59:02 PM Pacific Daylight Time 
From: jimmylouie@cox.net 
To: MPFaley@aol.com 
Sent from the Internet (Details) 
 
Mike:
 
I am sending you some of the copies I have made.  These are the navigator logs.   There are 28 missions included ending in September 9, 1944 (obviously September 10 log was lost when they crashed).  The sequence pretty much matches Louis's list in his books but Dad flew a few more in between.  Also there are a couple either missing or his numbering got off somehow.  The mystery to me is why the crew broke up and went stateside except for my Dad who went back to Thorpe Abbott and continued to fly.  There is more documentation at my mom's house in Michigan but it is in the bank lock box.  I had copies made but we had a slight accident at my house (the 15 year old cat peed on some papers!  Nothing was lost (only the copies that I had made of those papers).  So, I will have to wait til my next trip home next year unless I can convince my mom to make copies (she is not real "handy" at high-tech stuff like a copy machine.
 
Dad was recommended for a silver star (see the May 23, 1945 memo from Harry Crosby).  How can I find out why it was never awarded (or maybe it was and he never new it).  
Is Harry Crosby still alive?  
 
I have lots of pictures to copy for you too if you are interested.  Also, I have the Vgram that Dad sent to his parents when he was safe in Italy after the Feb 3 bail out.
 
Let me know…Sue

SITE MENU:
 Home Local News Community State Nation/World Opinion Obituaries Lifestyles Business Health CLASSIFIEDS Sports CMU Athletics ARCHIVES 


HOME > Local News > Quiet Hero
Local News

PUBLISHED: Saturday, August 20, 2005
Quiet Hero


Man awarded posthumous medal for service in World War II


By SARA MURRAY
Sun Special Writer


  
Nell Gillison and her daughter Sue Dickey hold a picture of their husband and father Stewart Gillison. Gillison was finally recognized after his death for his time spent as a soldier.  
 
It was Feb. 3, 1945, and Col. Robert Rosenthal was leading his bomb squad in one of the largest Air Force raids over Berlin. But shortly before reaching target, his squad's B-17 bomber was hit by flak, killing two of its engines.
Smoke and fire filled the plane's cabin, but command navigator Stewart Gillison directed the plane to its target, where the crew dropped their bombs before heading east, away from enemy territory.

Rosenthal demanded that the crew bail out of the plane, but Gillison was in the aircraft's nose caring for a bombardier who had been fatally injured by flak, and refused to let the young man die alone.

He held him in his arms and desperately tried to stem the bleeding with a handkerchief, with no success.

The bombardier died with Gillison at his side. Afterward Gillison and Rosenthal bailed. Rosenthal was picked up by Russian soldiers and eventually taken to a base in England.

Gillison was not so lucky. Landing in unfriendly territory, he hid for two hours in a clump of trees while shellfire raged around him.

For three months Gillison traveled by foot into Poland and eventually to Russian aid. By then his family had already received a telegram dreaded by all military families — he was missing in action.

A Life Without Recognition

Gillison, of Shepherd, died in March of 2003, at the age of 83.

"Lieutenant Gillison became a lead navigator and started what is probably one of the roughest and best tours of any 100th group navigator,“ said Major Harry Crosby, Air Corps. group navigator for the 100th Bomb Group.

Gillison was honorably discharged as a captain in early 1946, but he was never recognized for his heroism on that February mission.

But last month, the director of the Air Force Review Boards Agency amended Gillison's records to show that he was recommended for the Silver Star Medal for his heroic acts on Feb. 3, 1945, and that the recommendation had finally been approved.

A longtime resident of Shepherd, the mild-mannered Gillison lived unrecognized for almost 60 years after World War II.

Around 1950, Gillison moved to Shepherd to "start a new life,“ said his daughter Sue Dickey, who now resides in Oceanside, Calif.

Slightly overweight and with little mechanical talent, he failed to look the part of a war hero. Few knew of his outstanding military accomplishments, including his own daughter.

"I never knew much when I was growing up,“ Dickey said. "My father was very, very quiet.“

He was the co-owner of Gould Rexall Drugs and a founder of the Maple Syrup Festival. Known to everyone and active in the community, he was the man to see if the town doctor happened to be away, Dickey said. Shepherd came to know Gillison as the "friendly druggist.“

On one occasion, word leaked that Gillison had served in the war. The superintendent of the high school repeatedly begged Gillison to give a speech, Dickey said. Gillison finally agreed.

When he returned home he threw his stuff onto the table and said "That's enough of that. I'll never do that again,“ according to the story Dickey's mother told her.

"It probably brought up too many bad memories,“ Dickey said. "My mom said that when he came home he didn't want to remember the war.“

The War Hero

Gillison entered active duty on Feb. 5, 1944, according to Air Force documents. During his service Gillison participated in the D-Day invasion and the first England-Russia-Italy-England shuttle mission.

Gillison's tour included 17 leads and eight wing leads, Crosby documented. He was given the award of the Distinguished Flying Cross with one Oak Leaf Cluster, the Air Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters, the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with seven Bronze Service Stars and the World War II Victory Medal, according to Air Force documents.

Prior to bailing out in Germany, Gillison had also crash landed on a mission to Nuremberg where the plane was hit severely and three engines were lost, Rosenthal said.

When Gillison died, Dickey and her mother wanted to give him a military funeral. So they went in search of discharge papers in Gillison's safety deposit box. Dickey found more than she bargained for.

"When I was at the bank, she (Mrs. Gillison) had all of these citations and things at the bank that I had never seen before,“ Dickey said. "That's when I saw the citations that said he had been nominated for the Silver Star.“

Dickey's curiosity got the best of her, and she found the 100th Bomb Squad's Web site. A historian for the group advised her to research Gillison's Silver Star nomination, because it was odd for servicemen to be recommended for the award but never receive it, Dickey said.

About a year ago, Dickey sent an application to the Air Force requesting that her father posthumously be awarded the Silver Star. When she received the letter of approval on July 5, 2005, her mission was completed.

After 60 years of silence, Gillison's achievements have been uncovered, and his family members and fellow servicemen are able to celebrate the recognition he has finally received.

MEMO 2:

KIA / MIA / EVA / INT INFORMATION:

TARGET: DATE:  
AIRCRAFT: CAUSE:  

BURIAL INFORMATION

PLOT: ROW:  
GRAVE: CEMETERY:  

PHOTOS:

Capt Stewart Gillison A-2 jacket. Painted Terrible Termite, with 29 missions. Bill Terminello’s Lead Crew. Courtesy of Sue Gillison Dickey

Class A uniform of Capt Stewart Gillison. Note Silver Star ribbon, Bullion Winged Boot and Caterpillar Club. Donated by Sue Gillison Dickey

William F. Terminello, Jr., left with Greg Maddox, Stewart J. Gillison and Louis Quijada photographed just before take off on a Pathfinder aircraft. Detailed Information (100th Photo Archives) 

 

SERVED IN:

Crew 1

Crew 2

ID: 1891