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Bose Gorman (1915-1943)
Lee Cemetery, Winnsboro, Texas
Consolidated B-24E wrecked July 5, 1943, San Miguel Island

GORMAN, Bose (1915-1943)[Service Number O-801453], navigator killed along with all twelve passengers in the Consolidated B-24E that crashed into Green Mountain on San Miguel Island on July 5, 1943.

His hometown was Winnsboro, Houston County, TX. He was the son of Bose Gorman (1872-1921) and Regina Reuben McKeehan Gorman. He had an older brother, Carl Frederick Gorman (1902-1942), and a sister Grace Gorman Halsell (1908-1996). Boise Jr. was married, and he and his wife, Bertha "Tommie", were living at Salinas, CA at the time of his death.

Gorman was graduated with the Class of 43-6 on May 1, 1943 from the Army Air Forces Navigation School at Selman FIeld, Monroe, Louisiana.

April 1944 Letter written by Bose Gorman's mother.Pdficon small 2.gif

In the News~

[? day] 1943, [Fort Worth Star?]: “Selman FIeld, Monroe, La — Aviation Cadet Bose Gorman, son of Mrs. Bose Gorman of Winnsboro, has completed his pre-flight School (Navigator) Selman Field, Monroe, La., and will begin his advanced navigation study at once at Selman FIeld, Monroe, La. After 15 weeks of intensive classroom work, flights in navigation training planes, military drill and calisthentics he will, if successful, graduate as a Second Lieutenant with wings and flying pay. With his octant, dividers, compasses, maps, and unpronounceable gadgets, the navigator is playing a most important position in the five, seven, or nine man teams manning modern bombers. His job is to get 'em there and get 'em back, over land, over water, through weather and rain, hail and fog—through anything. Cadet Gorman attended Texas A & M College, graduating in 1937. Before joining the armed forces he was employed by the Gulf Oil Corporation as Petroleum Engineer. Cadet Gorman entered the Advanced Navigation School at Monroe, Jan. 18th.”

July 5, 1943: Consolidated B-24E (#42-7180) U.S.A.A. F. crashed on Green Mountain. Twelve men died in the crash. The site was not located until March 19, 1944. The bomber had been dispatched to find a missing B-24 that was later found 10 miles inland from Santa Barbara. All personnel were members of the 2nd Air Force, 34th Bomb Group, 7th Bomb Squadron stationed at Salinas Army Air Base, Salinas, California. The remains of the crew were returned to their next of kin:

July 13, 1943 [Santa Cruz Sentinel]: “Bomber From Salinas Missing In Flight Over Ocean. Salinas, July 12 —The Salinas army air base disclosed today that a heavy bomber with 12 officers and men has been missing since July 5 on a flight over the Pacific ocean. The air base list of the men who were on the plane included:

  • First Lieut. Douglas Thornburg of Casa Grande, Ariz.
  • Second Lieut. Floyd P. Hart of Bakersfield, Calif.
  • Second Lieut. Noah H. Yost; wife, Salinas.
  • Second Lieut. Bose Gorman; wife, Salinas.
  • Second Lieut. Justin M. Marshall; wife, Salinas.
  • Flight Officer Vernon C. Stevens; wife, Salinas.
  • Staff Sgt. Bernard Littman, Pittsburgh, Pa.
  • Staff Sgt. Ralph S. Masterson, Voth, Tex.
  • Staff Sgt. Lyle L. Frost, Mountain, Wis.
  • Staff Sgt. Walter B. Eisenbarth, Route 1, Hazelton, N. D.
  • Staff Sgt. Lee E. Salzer, Pittsburgh, Pa.
  • Pvt. Henry L. Blair [sic], LaTrobe, Pa.

March 21, 1944 [Santa Cruz Sentinel]: “12 Killed in Army Bomber Crash. Santa Maria, Cal. March 20 — Wreckage of an army bomber missing since last July has been discovered on San Miguel Island in the Santa Barbara channel with 12 bodies aboard, Santa Maria army air field officials reported today.”

March 21, 1944 [San Bernardino Sun]: “Plane wreckage Found on San Miguel Island. Santa Maria, March 20 — Wreckage of an Army bomber missing since last July has been discovered on San Miguel Island in the Santa Barbara channel with 12 bodies.”

October 2, 1954 [LAT]: “Air Force Seeks Names in 1943 Crash On Island. A special Air Force identification team flew by helicopter to lonely San Miguel Island off Santa Barbara yesterday to undertake the grim task of identifying the remains of 12 crewmen killed in the crash of a Liberator bomber July 5, 1943. The World War II wreckage, more than 11 years old, was discovered several days ago and has been definitely identified as that of B-24 No. 27180 that took off from Salinas Air Force Base with eight officers and four enlisted men. Last Report. It was last reported two hours later near Santa Barbara and apparently the pilot attempted to crash land the Liberator on the grassy tableland of the island some 60 miles off the California coast. Robert W. Ralston and George J. Schwanderer were assigned out of Air Material Command headquarters (Memorial Affairs Branch) to attempt identification of the crew and return the bodies to the mainland for burial, according to Brig. Gen. Victor Bertrandias, Air Force Deputy inspector general, Norton Air Force Base, San Bernardino. Names of the dead were withheld pending identification and notification of next of kin. The 12 men had been listed as missing and presumably dead.”