Gerald B. Wilbanks

BRANCH OF SERVICE
U.S. Army Air Forces

HOMETOWN
Yuma, AZ

HONORED BY
Maralyn Wilbanks Wilhite, Daughter

ACTIVITY DURING WWII

TECHNICAL SERGEANT. ENLISTED JANUARY 23, 1943. ARMY AIR CORPS DAYLIGHT PRECISION BOMBING WITH B-17 FLYING FORTRESS AND B-24 LIBERATORS BOMBERS TO DESTROY MANUFACTURING COMPANIES, ESPECIALLY THOSE WHICH PRODUCED PARTS FOR THE GERMAN TANKS. ALSO TO DESTROY AMMUNITION AND SUPPLY SITES, COMMUNICATION SITES AND TRANSPORTATION HUBS OF THE ENEMY. SERVED IN THE EIGHTH AIR FORCE, 493RD BOMB GROUP IN THE 863RD SQUADRON. MOSTLY, HE FLEW THE B 17 'JOLLY ROGER', AS A FLIGHT ENGINEER AND AERIAL GUNNER. HIS GROUP WAS A UNIT OF THE THIRD BOMBARDMENT DIVISION. HE WAS AWARDED THE AIR MEDAL WITH FOUR BRONZE STARS AND SILVER OAK LEAF CLUSTER AND COMPLETED 35 BOMBING MISSIONS. HE PARTICIPATED IN RAIDS THAT GAVE SHATTERING BLOWS ON THE MARSHALING YARDS AT COLOGNE, A KEY TRANSPORTATION AND SUPPLY CENTER AND GATEWAY TO THE RUHR. ALSO DROPPED BOMBS THAT EASED A TOUGH JOB OF THE AMERICAN GROUND FORCES IN THE TAKING OF AACHEN. RELEASED FEBRUARY 1945.