Veterans of The Mighty Eighth: The Oregon Air National Guard’s connections to the Eighth Air Force of World War II

T/Sgt. Gerald E. Wilson, a charter member of Oregon’s first military aviation unit, the 123rd Observation Squadron, was later reassigned and joined the 384th Bomb Group at Grafton Underwood Airfield in October, 1943 and served in the 547th Bomb Squadron of the group. Here he poses with his crew and a B-17F Flying Fortress as part of the Lavvorn/LaSeur crew. He was the flight engineer/top turret gunner and is seen kneeling at the right end of the front row. He was shot down on his 20th combat mission, a mission to Berlin, Germany on March 4, 1944, and spent 15 months as a Prisoner of War in Germany. (

PHOTO BY: courtesy asset
VIRIN: 221110-Z-F3895-1003.JPG
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