Elijah Gordy

2nd Lt Elijah Vaughn Gordy Jr was assigned to the 459th BG 757th Squadron.
Military Occupational Specialty (MOS): Navigator.

In April, 1944, the crew and their airplane were assigned the Fifteenth Air Force; 304th Bomb Wing and 459th Bomb Wing and sent to Italy. The route of flight was to Tucson AZ, Midland TX, Georgia, Palm Beach, FL, Puerto Rico; British Guiana, Brazil, Africa and finally to Cerignolia, Italy on the East coast which is South of Foggia, Italy.

In May, they flew with Colonel Munn to Malta. It was a single B-24 with full crew but no fighter escort was necessary. In Malta the crew was on its own for about four hours. Following the meeting they returned to Cerignola with no comment from Col. Munn.

After June 6 (D-Day) we learned the real purpose of a very high level meeting in Malta. Apparently the 459th Bomb Group was to lead the 15th Air Force in diversionary attacks in the area of southern France.

He flew 50 combat missions as a navigator for the 15th Air Force in Italy. He was in the 459th Bomb Group and the 757th Squadron. A squadron of P-38s were on the other side of town from Vaughn's squadron. The B-24 pilots greatly appreciated the cover they got from the P-38s. When the P-38s returned from a successful mission they would sometimes buzz the tents where the B-24 pilots were sleeping. The prop wash would sometimes be so strong as to tear up the tents.

He got a rest leave after 30 missions. Most other soldiers went to the Island of Caprice. However, Col. Munn wanted to go to Cairo, Egypt and asked Vaughn's crew to take him. They stayed in the old Shephard Hotel which has the longest bar in world. They saw pyramids and rode camels. They met a Major who was his gym teacher at Mt. Lebanon High School.

On the 45th mission, on way to Romania, his plane was hit. They continued on and dropped their bombs. After the drop, they were hit again by enemy aircraft. They were required to leave the formation and dropped down to low altitude. While crossing Yugoslavia, they were hit again and lost a 2nd engine. They crossed the island of Vis and headed out over the Adriatic. After a few minutes they had trouble with 3rd engine and a fire in 4th engine. They did not have enough fuel to return to land. They were forced to ditch the airplane in the Adriatic Sea. Prior to hitting the water, they sent an SOS to alert 15th Air Force. The pilot & copilot went out through windshield and got into a life raft. One gunner was killed. Vaughn was knocked out. The plane was sinking when he became conscious. He tried but couldn't open trap door on the top of the plane. The Flight Engineer, Ben Venutti, returned and opened Trap door and pulled Vaughn into raft. Vaughn and the crew were rescued by Italian fishermen from island of Vis. While they were still on the fishing boat, an Air Force PBY landed in the water, took them aboard, and returned them to their base.

Visit http://vgordy.com/Reunion.htm to see the 22nd 459th Bomb Group Reunion

Visit Gordy Sortie Record below

The following information on Elijah Gordy is gathered and extracted from military records. We have many documents and copies of documents, including military award documents. It is from these documents that we have found this information on 2nd Lt Gordy. These serviceman's records are nowhere near complete and we are always looking for more material. If you can help add to Elijah Gordy's military record please contact us.

Rank Order Date Award

2nd Lt



Air Medal (AM)

2nd Lt



Air Medal (AM) Oak Leaf Cluster (OLC)

2nd Lt



Air Medal (AM) Oak Leaf Cluster (OLC)

1st Lt



Air Medal (AM) Oak Leaf Cluster (OLC)

Gordy Sortie Record PDF

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