This Memorial Page Established by - Carla Sherman
November 17, 2018
Donald's parents are Charles and Hazel (Hammond) Gamble and he was born in New
Bedford, MA. He was a member of the St. Martin's Episcopal Church and was awarded a
cross for his long service as a choir boy there. He attended New Bedford High School and
prior to going into the Navy, Donald was a clerk at the Minkin Auto & Radio Store in New
He actually lied about his age to try to get into the Navy. He signed up on his 17th birthday but
told the officials he was 18. Well - they didn't believe him and told him to get his Father's
"ok"....which a few days later he did. He was stationed at Newport, RI, Jacksonville, FL,
Norfolk, VA and lastly at Dunkeswell, Devon, England. Donald's duty during WWII was the
ball turret gunner (the one under the plane just behind the wings also known as the Belly
gunner). His plane from the Bombing Squadron of Flight Air Wing 7 VB-110 was called the
PB4Y-1 Consolidated Liberator (also known as B-24's) with the tail data of "M" B-12 BuNo.
63948. These Liberators were powerful with bomb bays loaded with depth charges and
bombs for use against the U-boats and its machine gun magazines filled with hundreds of
rounds for use against the German JU88's. A mission lasted eleven or twelve hours and
covered up to 1,600 nautical miles.
On March 31, 1944 his plane went missing over the Bay of Biscay near England as his
bomber was patrolling for German submarines and they encountered bad weather with no
fighter escorts when they came out of a cloud bank. A German fighter named Dieter Meister in
a Ju-88 twin engine got them and they were listed as lost at sea on the 31st then declared
killed in action on April 1, 1944. FYI - Navy records indicate a documented official death date of
April 1, 1945 because they had to wait the customary 1 year.
His parents, Charles and Hazel, were awarded the Navy Air Medal with 3 Gold Stars and a
Purple Heart posthumously for Donald's outstanding ability and zeal during day and night
missions in defense of our vital supply line to the European theater of war. He was one of a
group which played an important part in reducing the German U-Boat menace from their home
station at Dunkeswell in Devon England. His unwavering devotion to duty throughout a
period of intense operations was in keeping with the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval
service. He participated in many operations under constant threat of German aerial attack and
in the face of treacherous weather conditions.
Donald is a direct descendant of Mayflower Pilgrims Myles Standish (GS #86,222), George
Soule (GS #86,222), John Alden (GS #86,222), Francis Eaton, John Howland, Thomas/John
Rogers, Degory Priest, Henry Howland, Richard Warren, Francis/John Cooke and John
Tilley. And lastly, one nice thing is that we all have at least one picture of him displayed
proudly in each of our homes - even though many of us never met him - he is still in our
hearts and consider him our hero.
|Donald C. Gamble
United States Navy
KIA WWII 01 April 1944-45