1943 — Italy
J. Nelson Gabbard enlisted in the AAC 31 Dec.1941, he was single still and entered into training as a flight engineer and Tail-Gunner. He served on the Medium Bomber, the B-26 Marauder, his regular Ship, The LONESOME POLECAT, and in the Mediterranean Theatre, Africa, Sardinia and Corsica, flying only a very few Missions in the B-25 Mitchell.
319thBG,438thBS, James "Nelson" Gabbard B-26's, MTO 319th BG, 438thBS, James "Nelson" Gabbard, His CREW, Ship "Lonesome Pole-Cat" (His 'regular Crew and SHIP)
L) Standing, Grant Webster, Top-Turret, Age 38 ! ,THE ! Art Riegel, 1st Pilot, Aircraft Commander, Wes Coburn, Co-Pilot, Jim "Nelson" Gabbard, Flight Engineer/Tail-Gunner,
L) Kneeling, Harry Engle, Ground Crew Chief, Battle No. # 41
John Pish, Radio/Waist Gunner, and unknown Aircraft mechanic.
Tunis/Tunisia, Wheat Field, Missions Sicily, Italy (Until Nov. '43)
His original flight records are from the 438th Bombardment Squadron, 319th Bombardment group (M) AAF APO #650 U.S. Army dated 4 July 1944. James Nelson Gabbard was a tail gunner/flight engineer. There is also a copy of the 319th bomb group wartime KIA from June 26,1942-August 15, 1945.That list is a double sided paper and has a many squadrons from the Hdqrs to the 440th. There are some original photos and some photo copies of pictures. A few of the pictures have the names of the men and some don’t. Mr. Gabbard has discussed the materials and people. His mind is sharp even though he is in his 80's ! This written by his Church Friends, / From Nelson's Life-Friend, Ken McKenzie and his son, Kendall. Kendall is 18 ('09) and a great and interested and devoted "Pal" to Nelson. (In his 80's)
MORE TO COME
57th Bomb Wing Researcher, Barbi Ennis Connolly