1/Lt. William P. Gebhardt

(Dick Herbst via 55th FG Newsletter)

1/Lt. William P. Gebhardt

338th FS - 18 June 1944 - 24 December 1944

Assigned Aircraft

P-51D CL-D
P-51D 44-13784

Mission History

Not Known

Mission List
55th FG Mission # Date Target
236 19 September 1944 Osnabruck
Air Scores
Ground Scores
Score Detail 19 September 1944  Me-109 destroyed (air) S/Dusseldorf

ASN - O-760283
18 June 1944 - Joined the 338th Fighter Squadron
01 November 1944 - Bailed out of P-51D 44-13784 after tail fell off.  Landed in English Channel, 4 miles South of Orfordness and was picked up by a passing naval destroyer.
10 July 1944 - Detached Service to the 364th FS, 357th FG
04 August 1944 - Promoted from 2nd Lieutenant to 1st Lieutenant
29 November 1944 - Awarded 5th Oak Leaf Cluster to Air Medal
13 December 1944 - Awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross
24 December 1944 - Transferred to 70th Replacement Depot

Memories 'One of the smoothest pilots I have ever known.  Geb could really fly smooth formation.  One day while on a practice mission I was in a dive behind Geb when I saw the tail of his ship rip off.  Geb bailed out and landed in the Channel about two miles off shore.  Luckily he landed near a convoy which was passing by at the time.  One of the escorting destroyers swung over and picked him out of the water.  This accident happened in November and the water was plenty cold.  As usual, the dinghy snapped free when his chute opened, and to make matters worse his Mae West failed to inflate.  Consequently he had to swim to keep himself afloat.  Geb later told us that with all his heavy flying clothes on it was all he could do to keep his head above water.' Dick Herbst
Additional Photo Lt. Gebhardt and ground crew (Dick Herbst via 55th FG Newsletter)
Nb. Photo opens in new window.  Close window to return to this page

Back to 338th Fighter Squadron Pilots