John Gibson

Corporal John Gibson of Duluth, Minnesota died on 3rd October 1942 when USAAF B17 bomber 41-24451 came down on Slieveanorra Mountain, Co. Antrim.

Corporal John Gibson served in 91st Bomb Group, 401st Bomb Squadron, United States Army Air Force during World War Two. Born on 8th June 1915, the curly, red-haired Gibson was Jack to family and friends. He was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Samuel E Gibson of 417 North 59th Avenue West, Duluth, Minnesota.

Jack attended Denfield High School, Duluth, Minnesota. He was a popular student, playing in the school basketball team and holding the role of Junior Class Vice President. On graduating, he attended the University of Minnesota for a year. At the end of that year, Japanese forces attacked Pearl Harbour and within 10 days, Gibson enlisted in the Army Air Corps.

Corporal Gibson died on 3rd October 1942 aged 27 years old. He was a Radio Operator when the USAAF B17 Flying Fortress crashed on Slieveanorra Mountain, Co. Antrim.

Grave of Corporal John Gibson who died on B17 41-24451

A woman tends the grave of Corporal John "Jack" Gibson who was killed when B17 41-24451 crashed on Slieveanorra on 3rd October 1942. Photo taken at Lisnabreeny American Cemetery, Castlereagh, Belfast and published in Duluth News Tribune. Copyright unknown.

In 2012 research from Eamonn McBride and Alvin Grady began to piece together the story of John Gibson. The Duluth Herald on 8th October 1942 reported the death as:

The result of an airplane accident somewhere in the British Isles.

John Gibson’s grave was first located in Belfast City Cemetery, Co. Antrim. All casualties of this crash were later moved to Lisnabreeny American Cemetery, Belfast, Co. Down. In 1948, this cemetery in the Belfast hills closed and Gibson’s body returned to Greenwood Cemetery, Virginia. His name is on the Moyle Walkway Memorial on Slieveanorra and on a granite monument at the former Lisnabreeny Cemetery, Belfast, Co. Down.