Edward Thomas Gardner

2nd Lt    0-745881    615th
1921 - 1944

Pilot aboard 42-31518 (Doolittle's Doughboy's)

Ardennes cemetery, Belgium
Plot : B , Row : 34 , Grave : 19

     Edward was born 17 dec. 1921 in Cleveland, Cuyahoga, Ohio, USA.
     His parents were from Russia and immigrated to America.

     In Apr 16, 1942 he enlisted to the air corps.

     In 1944 he arrived in England to join the 401st BG
     His last mission, Feb 20, 1944, Target: Leipzig, the plane was attacked by enemy fighters.

     Lt. Gardner gave his life for his crew, holding the B-17 steady until the other nine crew members
     had safely bailed out, by which time it was too late to bail out himself.

     He was awarded with an Air Medal and a Purple Heart Medal

- Name of crew member : Gardner , Edward Thomas.
- Rank : 2nd Lt.
- Serial number : 0-745881
- Position : Pilot.

There is no ICQ about Edward , but there is a story told by 2nd Lt Carrol Arthur Gouger

                        My Pilot - Edward T. Gardner.

What happened to Lt Gardner has remained a mystery to all of the crew since the day we were shot down.
I was in the cockpit with him and Co-pilot when he gave the order to bail out.

He was unharmed at that time.

After my jump, and while floating down, I counted six other chutes in air, making a total of seven with mine.
I believe that Gardner decided not to bail out himself but resolved to crash-land the plane by himself.
We had an engine on fire and the plane exploded and burned to waist, when it hit the ground.
I watched the plane going down and it appeared to me that someone was trying to crash-land it.
Co-pilot later told me in prison camp that Germans showed him a picture of what was left of our plane.
They also told him of finding two (2) bodies near wreckage of ship.
They didn`t find any traces of Lt Gardner and questioned co-pilot several times in an effort to find out where he was.

It is in my firm belief now that Lt Gardner was burned in explosion of plane.
I think he should be awarded a post-humous medal for valor, bevause I am quite sure he attempted to crash-land our plane because he thought there was a chance to save Monnes, radio operator , who was unconscious on floor of radio room.

Captured German Records from interregation center , Dulag Luft , reported that the body of Lt. Gardner was found on a field at Pils, Germany, a couple of days later.
He was buried in a cemetery at Germany and later in Ardennes, Belgium.

Mission to Leipzig, germany, Aircraft attacked by enemy fighters, dropped down and out of formation.
Crashed on a field at Pilm, near Magdeburg, Germany.

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