Corporal John Gibson, known as Jack to family and friends served with the United States Army Air Force. The curly, red-haired Gibson was born on 8th June 1915. He attended Denfield High School in his hometown of Duluth, Minnesota. As a student, he was popular at school, playing a forward position in the basketball team and holding the role of Junior Class Vice-President.
He graduated from Duluth Junior College and completed one year at the University of Minnesota. After that year, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbour. Ten days later, John enlisted in the Army Air Corps.
Gibson was the son of Mr and Mrs Samuel E Gibson of 417N 59th Avenue West, Duluth, Minnesota. He was single and twenty-seven years old when he undertook the journey to Europe in 1942. He died when the B17 Flying Fortress he was onboard crashed on Slieveanorra, Co. Antrim on 3rd October 1942. He was radio operator onboard the ill-fated plane.
John Gibson in the USAAF
Little was known about the fate of John Gibson until the research from Eamonn McBride and Alvin Grady in 2012. A clipping from the Duluth Herald on 8th October 1942 reported Gibson’s death “as the result of an airplane accident somewhere in the British Isles.”
Along with the other seven victims of the B17 crash, Gibson was buried first in Belfast City Cemetery and later in the Lisnabreeny Cemetery. In 1948, his body was repatriated and buried in Greenwood Cemetery, Virginia. His name is remembered on the US Airmen’s Memorial on the Moyle Walkway, Slieveanorra and on the monument at the former American Cemetery at Lisnabreeny.