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Thread: John Joseph Gilmore or Joseph John Gilmore

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    Default John Joseph Gilmore or Joseph John Gilmore

    I am attempting to sort out fact from fiction.

    A website, http://www.downhomelife.com/article.php?id=1014 describes a mercy flight and aircraft salvage in Newfoundland in 1943. In part it reads:

    ”A pilot was brought in to fly the RAF Norseman aircraft back to Gander. John Joseph Gilmore was a pioneer aviator, who flew from 1932 to 1945. He served in the Irish Air Corps in the 1930s and had made the first parachute jump in Ireland while still a member of the corps. In August 1940, he came to Gander as an employee of the RAF Ferry Command, salvaging crashed aircraft and returning them to service. In addition, it is estimated that of the more than 500 rescue missions during his time in Gander, he piloted more than half.”

    Gilmore was killed in the crash of the Norseman FE405 at Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island on 1 May 1945. Newspaper accounts of the day render his name as “Joseph J. Gilmore.” The Commonwealth War Grave Commission has him as “John J. Gilmore, MBE”. For the moment I am going to assume that “John Joseph Gilmore” is correct.

    Incomplete Ferry Command records from Gander, Newfoundland, confirm that he participated in several mercy flights in that colony in 1942-43, in both Fox Moth and Norseman aircraft. However, the claim that he took part in some 250 rescue missions is obviously an exaggeration.

    I cannot verify statements about his experience in the Irish Air Corps and would appreciate anything relevant to that subject.

    Curiously, a news item in the Daily News (St. John’s, Newfoundland) cited him as “Chief Engineer Gilmore”, described his contributions as training aircraft mechanics and did not mention any flying that he may have performed.

    Finally, the London Gazette of 28 June 1946 announced the award of Member, Order of the British Empire to “John Joseph Gilmore, Ground Staff in Canada of RAF Transport Command.” (no citation). Given awards policies that prevented posthumous awards (save for the VC, GC and Mention in Despatches) it is extraordinary that an MBE to him would have been gazetted more than a year after his death. I have no idea as to whether the honour was for flying or ground staff duties.

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    FE405 was an RCAF Harvard, it survived the war and was sold as scrap in 1946. I can't find any RCAF crashes for 1 May 1945.

    From Baugher's site, the crash was probably Norseman FR405, 2 killed. It was an RAF aircraft at the time, not RCAF.
    Last edited by Bill Walker; 26th May 2012 at 19:00. Reason: added info on FR405

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    Not sure if you have seen these but they may (or may not) help you sort the wheat from the chaff:

    http://www.newulsterbiography.co.uk/index.php/home/viewPerson/545

    http://www.ulsterhistory.co.uk/patrickgilmore.htm

    http://www.baaa-acro.com/Pays/C/Canada-Ile%20du%20Prince%20Edouard.htm also has FR405 as a 1st May loss at Charlottetown

    Regards

    Pete
    Last edited by PeteT; 26th May 2012 at 20:41.
    Main areas of research:

    - CA Butler and the loss of Lancaster ME334 (http://rafww2butler.wordpress.com/ )
    - Aircrew Training (Basic / Trade / Operational / Continuation / Conversion)
    - The History of No. 35 Squadron (1916 - 1982) (https://35squadron.wordpress.com/)

    [Always looking for copies of original documents / photographs etc relating to these subjects]

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    Default John Joseph (Joe) Gilmore

    Can comment little on his pre-war background. Gilmore's Ferry Command employee card gives his arrival at Gander as Sept 1941. Under occupation is given, “Chief Maintenance Engineer” and under temporary, “Superintendent of Maintenance.” The latter seems to best describe his occupation at Gander. His name soon became synonymous with Gander’s Ferry Command operation. The claim of 250 mercy flights, (the other half being made by CO G/C David Anderson) comes from an article written by then journalist J.R. Smallwood, who had a penchant for exaggeration! Gilmore nonetheless made numerous mercy flights and, as the Ferry Command diaries and internal flight records suggest, countless more in connection with search, rescue and salvage ops.

    Darrell

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    Default Joe Gilmore

    Hugh. I understand that Gilmore's grave marker did not reference the MBE and was updated and replaced by the CWGC in 2005.

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    Many thanks for all of the above (including the corrective about the serial number). I would appreciate directions on finding the Smallwood article about Gilmore.

    For the record, the following is excerpted from the St. John's Daily News, 9 May 1945:

    "Chief Engineer Gilmore’s name is almost a household word throughout Newfoundland, for during the three and a half years he was at Gander he did more local flying than has ever been done by anyone else. But it is not so much in Newfoundland that Mr. Gilmore’s name was known, and his great pioneering ability so expertly recognized, as throughout the wider world of Transatlantic flying, for to thousands of aircrews who have been flying the Atlantic these past years he was something of a tradition for cool-headed efficiency. A large number of Newfoundlanders have been trained as aircraft maintenance mechanics by Mr. Gilmore and it is a simple truth to say that to them his death is almost like that of a beloved parent."

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    FLIGHT, JULY 6, 1933

    There was a parachute drop by Mr. J. Gilmore.

    FLIGHT. JULY 19, 1934.

    Irish-built Monoplane Tested
    Designed and built by Mr. Joseph Gilmore, a civilian ground engineer employed by the Irish Free State Army Air Corps -> this is Ciivlian Coupe G-AAIL then EI-AAV

    Actually this aircraft was a rebuilt and reworked Civilian Coupe, Genet engine, which was purchased by him in England in 1933, and crashed at Stranraer when flying this machine back to Ireland.
    Last edited by paulmcmillan; 29th May 2012 at 14:01.

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    Ancestry.com New York Passenger lists have three exampels of a man named Joseph Gilmore, born around 1901 arriving in new York on the Flying Boats Cabot and Caribou, in August and September 1939.

    Aug 6th, one of two engineers on the crew of Caribou. Southampton, via Montreal it seems.

    Sep 4th, again via Canada, J Gilmore, having joined the crew in Montreal with Engineer F H Harley

    Same details again on the Cabot, Sep 24 1939. I wonder if that the same Gilmore?

    Theres no more useful information on the manifests.
    Dennis Burke
    - Dublin

    Foreign Aircrew and Aircraft Ireland 1939-1945
    www.ww2irishaviation.com

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    I can scan and send Smallwood article if you'd like to PM your email.

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    Default Smallwood Article

    Darrell, would it be possible to have a scan of the article please? My e-mail is gcwarner@hotmail.com

    Thank you.

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