John E. Gilbert


John E. Gilbert
1921 – 1946

John Gilbert con Judy Pop.

Engineer. Service Number: 6990531

John E. Gilbert was born in 1921 in Frankfort, IN to Edwin Gilbert and Goldie Metzger Gilbert. John’s father died in 1929 at the age of 58, when John was 8 years old. 

Goldie Gilbert worked as a pastry cook in a restaurant, according to the 1930 census and supported John, his younger brother and his older sister.
John left high school and went into the service in 1941, before Pearl Harbor, for 2 years until 1943. He then reenlisted in 1944. His last mission was listed as “administrative” and he just happened to be called on for that flight. John is named on an undated page of the Air Force records of the history of Eschborn Air Base, as a member of the 14th TCS of the 61st TCG.

John’s niece, Mrs. Judy Pop, remembers that her mother, Roberta Gilbert, and grandmother, Goldie Gilbert, received news that the plane was missing and later that the wreckage had been found; Roberta accompanied her Mother to Arlington National Cemetery for the burial of the remains of the group. They were not given any of the items that belonged to John, including the flight jacket that had his name written in it that had been found at the crash site.

Roberta died in 2005, never knowing that a group of Italian and French mountaineers and researchers have been watching all these years over the mountain in the Alps that still hides the mystery of her brother’s last flight.