Summary

Conflict Period:
World War II 1
Branch:
Army 1
Birth:
1922 1
Pennsylvania 1
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Personal Details

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Person:
Joseph J Gatto 1
Level of Education: 4 years of high school 1
Marital Status: Single, without dependents 1
Birth:
1922 1
Pennsylvania 1
Residence:
Place: Chautauqua County, New York 1
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World War II 1

Branch:
Army 1
Enlistment Date:
15 Apr 1941 1
Army Branch:
Medical Administrative Corps - For Officers only 1
Army Component:
Regular Army (including Officers, Nurses, Warrant Officers, and Enlisted Men) 1
Army Serial Number:
12024315 1
Enlistment Place:
Binghamton New York 1
Source of Army Personnel:
Civil Life 1
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Race or Ethnicity:
White 1
Source Information:
Box Number: 0079 1
Film Reel Number: 1.72 1

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Stories

42-24598

Isley Field on Saipan in the Mariana Islands

Born 27 April 1922 at Pennsylvania.  Enlisted as a Private in the Army Air Corps on 15 April 1941 at Binghamton, New York.  Joined “Crew A-5” and underwent B-29 aircraft transition and combat crew training at Pratt Army Air Field, Kansas.  In September 1944, deployed to the Central Pacific Theatre of Operations and was assigned to 20th Air Force, XXI Bomber Command, 73rd Bomb Wing, 497th Bombardment Group, 869th Bomb Squadron stationed at Isley Field on Saipan in the Mariana Islands.  On 9 January 1945, he flew as an Aerial Gunner in the tail station aboard a Boeing B-29 Superfortress nicknamed “Waddy’s Wagon” (Serial #42-24598) Tail Code: A-Square-5.  It was one of 72 aircraft launched in a multi-group formation to bombard the Musashino Aircraft Works and Nakajima Aircraft Engine Factory near Tokyo, Japan.  After the bomb run, his aircraft was last sighted 10 miles east of Choshi Point off mainland Japan at 27,000 feet and descending to provide protection to B-29 A-Square-46 which was under attack from 15 Nakajima Ki-44 “Tojo” fighter planes.  He was killed when his aircraft was forced to ditch at a geographic location of approximately 34 degrees North and 143 degrees East.  The next day a B-17 “Dumbo” search plane was dispatched to the area, but no wreckage or survivors were ever found.  He was declared KIA one year later.

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