Donald's parents are Charles and Hazel (Hammond) Gamble.
He was a member of the St. Martin's Episcopal Church and was awarded a cross for his long service as a choir boy there. He attended New Bedford High School and prior to going into the Navy, Donald was a clerk at the Minkin Auto & Radio Store in New Bedford, MA.
He actually lied about his age to get into the Navy. He signed up on his 17th birthday but told the officials he was 18. He was stationed at Newport, RI and Jacksonville, FL. His hut in Florida prior to being in Norfolk, VA and then over to England was called the Buzzard's Roost. My mother (his sister) was between 6 and 9 when he was in the service so unfortunately she does not remember him.
Donald's duty during WWII was the ball turret gunner onboard one of the Navy's Bomber planes. His plane went missing over the Bay of Biscay near England as his bomber was patrolling for German submarines and they encountered bad weather with no fighter escorts when they came out of a cloud bank. We believe the German fighters got them and they were listed as lost at sea killed in action.
He is memorialized here on the Find-A-Grave site, on the National Gold Star Family Registry site, the National WWII Memorial site, and the FOLD3 website. In England there is a cross with his name on it at the Cambridge Memorial Cemetery and his name in a book viewed by the public every day at the St. Paul's Church in London. And closer to home - his name is on the WWII Memorial Wall in Washington, DC and a memorial brass plaque at the Battleship Cove in Fall River, Mass. At the Rural Cemetery (in his home town of New Bedford, Mass) he has a veteran's stone. And lastly, one nice thing is that we all have at least one picture of him in each of our homes - even though many of us never met him - he is still in our hearts.
His parents (Charles and Hazel Hammond Gamble) were awarded the Navy Air Medal and a Purple Heart posthumously for Donald's outstanding ability and zeal during day and night missions in defense of our vital supply line to the Europeon theater of war. He was one of a group which played an important part in reducing the German U-Boat menace. His unwavering devotion to duty throughout a period of intense operations was in keeping with the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval service. He participated in many operations under constant threat of German aerial attack and in the face of treacherous weather conditions.
Because a few of the children died young or in WWII with the name "Charles" as a first or a middle name - this name was never used again and was considered to be jinxed. My grandmother even told her children to never use the name again (as the first or middle name) and they never did. And this philosophy has even been passed to the next generation and should be carried forward to generations to come.
Donald is a direct descendant of Mayflower Pilgrims Myles Standish (GS #86,222), George Soule, Francis Eaton, Thomas/John Rogers, John Howland, Francis Cooke, Richard Warren, Degory Priest and John Alden (as of 4/1/14 Alden line is in the process of being approved by the GSMD).
These are a list of books (excluding the Silver Mayflower books) that our family lines are documented in:
- A history and genealogy of the descendants of William Hammond of London, England by Dr. Roland Hammond, MD
- William Ricketson, William Ricketson, Jr., and their descendants by Grace Williamson Edes
- The Richmond Family by Joshua Bailey Richmond
- A genealogical history of the descendants of Joseph Peck by Ira Peck
- John Vial of Swansey, Mass and Some of His Descendants by David Jillson
- Some of the descendants of Philip Sherman, the first secretary of Rhode Island by Roy Sherman
- A contribution to the history, biography and genealogy of the families named Sole, Solly, Soule, Sowle, Soulis.
- The Kempton/Kimpton Families in North America by Morton Saunders
- Dunham genealogy: English and American branches of the Dunham family by Isaac Watson Dunham
- Damon memorial: to the descendants of eleven Damon families by Brazil Monroe Damon
- The Matthew's Family of Yarmouth, MA by C.W. Swift
- Haskell Family in North America - Descendants of William Haskell and Elinor Foule.
- Descendants of John Maxfield of Salisbury, Massachusetts
- The Jenney book: John Jenney of Plymouth, and his descendants
- Elizabeth (Alden) Pabodie and Descendants by Mary Langford Taylor Alden