Edward "Gale" Quinn, from Harrisburg, Oregon was commissioned a 2nd Lt. on February 8, 1944. On that day, he was awarded his pilot wings and a MOS of 1054 (Pilot, Single Engine). And to think, that before he joined the service, he was putting himself through college by working as a Service Station Attendant. He had worked hard and came a long way to help his country win the war raging in the South Pacific and Europe. Unfortunately, he would never get the chance fight.
His older brother, Russell Quinn, age 24, was also a pilot in the Air Corp. Russell, was a P-38 pilot, flying escorts for the big bombers as they penetrated deep into Germany. Once he was sure the bombers were safe, he would use the P-38, and its ordinance for ground attack purposes.
In an ironic twist of fate, Russell would be shot down and killed just six days before his younger brother. Because of the delay in notifying the family, Gale Quinn was not aware his older brother was already a casualty of war.
Expecting a telegram with news of Gale's missing flight, their younger sister Pat, aged fourteen, would ride her bicycle down the dirt road to the Post Office every day to get the mail. She had no idea of the tragic news this telegram contained, as she hurried home to give it to her parents. Instead of word about Gale, it was the customary notification of a son, killed in action, in Germany.
The full story of this accident is now available in the new book, "Aircraft Wrecks in The Mountains and Deserts of California", (3rd edition), by G. Pat Macha and Don R. Jordan.
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