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S/SGT  Gilbert A. BORBA

UNIT: 349th BOMB Sqdn POSITION: WG

 (L-R) S/Sgt Gilbert A. "Gib" Borba-WG, S/Sgt Donald Rieger-TG, Peter Martin-BTG, all from the John P. Keys crew with unknown ground crewman. S/Sgt Rieger and S/Sgt Martin were KIA on the 8 Aug 44 mission to St. Sylvian flying in A/C 42-37865. S/Sgt Borba was the only survivor. (Photo courtesy of Mark Provost, nephew of Gilbert Borba) Keys crew information 

Going through old family pictures, today my Mother found a picture, my Great Uncle Gib, S/Sgt Gilbert A. Borba, W/G (Only survivor of the Lt John P. Keys crew KIA 08-08-1944 St. Sylvain France). the picture was taken after returning Stateside from POW camp . Courtesy of Mark Provost 

SERIAL #: 39125536 STATUS: POW
MACR: 08073 CR: 08073

Comments1: 8 AUG 44 ST.SLYVIAN (NORMANDY)

COMMENTS & NOTES

MEMO 1:

CREW

1ST LT JOHN P. KEYS                  P  KIA 8 AUG 44 ST SYLVIAN
F/O ELVIN W. SAMUELSON         CP  KIA 8 AUG 44 ST SYLVIAN
2ND LT PATRICK H. LOLLIS      NAV  KIA 8 AUG 44 ST SYLVIAN
2ND LT ELTON DICKENS          BOM  KIA 8 AUG 44 ST SYLVIAN
T/SGT FRANK O. THOMAS        ROG  KIA 8 AUG 44 ST SYLVIAN
T/SGT HARRY D. PARK             TTE  KIA 8 AUG 44 ST SYLVIAN
S/SGT PETER P. MARTIN          BTG  KIA 8 AUG 44 ST SYLVIAN
S/SGT GILBERT A. "GIB" BORBA  WG  POW   8 AUG 44 ST SYLVIAN
   SGT JOSEPH A. COSTANZA    WG  NOC
S/SGT DONALD V. RIEGER          TG  KIA 8 AUG 44 ST SYLVIAN

349th Sqdn..  Crew, as above, joined the 100th 3 May 1944. Was on their 26th mission.

EYEWITNESS: "one and one half minutes before Bombs Away, A/C #865 was hit by flak in the #2 engine. near the waist escape hatch, and a    
burst that knocked off the tail assembly.  The aircraft nosed down out of the formation. Nothing further is known concerning this aircraft."

NOTATION IN MACR: "Lt Dickens bailed out serioulsy injured in the left leg. Talked sensibly about three hours before slowly becoming delirious.     Words became impossible to understand. We bailed out at 1130 hours and Lt Dickens died at approximately 1800 hours.  
I think,  from loss of blood." (It is impossible to identify the above from the MACR, but it must have been Gilbert A. Bordba.....pw)   

A/C # 43-37865   MACR # 8073, Micro-fiche # 2964

30 MISSIONS FLOWN from Sgt J.A.Costanza Diary (mpf)

May   11, 1944  Liege  Marshalling Yard
May   13, 1944  Osnabruck Air Field
May   19, 1944  Berlin  
May   23, 1944  Troyes  Did not bomb, too much cloud cover, brought bombs back
May   24, 1944  Berlin  
May   27, 1944  Strousbourg JU88 Plant
May   29, 1944  Leipzig  JU88 Plant
June  04, 1944  Boulogne Coastal Guns
June  06, 1944  D-Day
June  07, 1944  Nantes  Bridge
June  25, 1944  France  No-Ball 
June  29, 1944  Bohlen/Liepzig Oil Refineries
July   11, 1944  Munich  Buzz Bomb Factory
July   12, 1944  Munich  Buzz Bomb Factory
July   14, 1944  France  No-Ball
July   17, 1944  Auxerre  Bridge
July   19, 1944  Schweinfurt ME 109 factory
July   20, 1944  Mersburg Oil Refinery
July   21, 1944  Ludwigshaven Chemical Firm
July   25, 1944  St. Lo  Front Lines (Only one waist gunner per mission, will alternate with Sgt. Borba)
July   28, 1944  Mersburg Oil Refinery (Costanza did not fly)
Aug   04, 1944  Hamburg Tank Factory (Costanza did not fly)
Aug   06, 1944  Berlin  (Costanza did not fly, waiting for Toggilier school)
Aug   07, 1944  North France brought back bombs (Costanza did not fly)
Aug   08, 1944  St Silvain No-Ball  The whole crew was KIA on this mission except Sgt Borba.

MEMO 2:

Sole survivor, this was crews 26th Mission.

KIA / MIA / EVA / INT INFORMATION:

TARGET: St. Sylvian (Normandy) DATE: 1944-08-08  
AIRCRAFT: (43-37865) CAUSE: FLAK  

BURIAL INFORMATION

PLOT: ROW:  
GRAVE: CEMETERY:  

PHOTOS:

Hand written letter from Gilbert Borba to the family of John P. Keys; page 1 (courtesy of Mack Kilby)

Hand written letter from Gilbert Borba to the family of John P. Keys; page 2 (courtesy of Mack Kilby)

Air Medal 

Las Vegas Gunnery Graduation  class  with George Borba. Courtesy of Mark Provost 

Gilbert Borba letter to Family of Lt John P. Keys. 

Joseph Costsnza diary courtesy of Mark Provost 

Joseph Costsnza diary courtesy of Mark Provost 

Joseph Costsnza diary courtesy of Mark Provost  Berlin part 1

Joseph Costsnza diary courtesy of Mark Provost . Berlin part 2

Lt John P. Keys Crew with 2107230: Yehudi
The John P. Keys crew: (Left to Right) John P. Keys, Patrick H. Lollis, Elton Dickens, Elvin W. Samuelson, Peter P. Martin, Harry D. Park, Gilbert A. Borba, Donald V. Rieger Frank O. Thomas, Joseph A. Costanza,

Joseph Costanza Diary, Mission 4. Joseph Costsnza diary courtesy of Mark Provost

Joseph Costanza Diary, Mission 5, Berlin Joseph Costsnza diary courtesy of Mark Provost

Joseph Costanza Diary, Mission 5 Berlin part 2 . Joseph Costsnza diary courtesy of Mark Provost

Joseph Costanza Diary, Mission 6. Joseph Costsnza diary courtesy of Mark Provost

Joseph Costanza Mission List.  courtesy of Mark Provost

Joseph Costanza Diary, Mission 7. Joseph Costsnza diary courtesy of Mark Provost

Joseph Costanza Diary, Mission 7 part 2 . Joseph Costsnza diary courtesy of Mark Provost

Berlin newspaper story for Lt Keys Crew from Sgt Borba archives. courtesy of Mark Provost

#7 mission to Leipzig article. courtesy of Mark Provost

June 4, 1944  - Mission #8 "Boulogne, France", for Lt. John P. Keys and his crew, 8th Army Air Force, 3rd Division, 13th Wing, 100th Bomb Group, 349th Bomb Squadron, from the personal diary of Pfc. Joseph A. Costanza

June 3, 1944 - A journal entry/reflection, pretty moving from Pfc Joe Costanza mentioning a few weeks back, a new crew that had replaced a lost crew. The new crew were shot out of the sky on their very first mission. After a direct hit to the wing, only 4 chutes spotted as the flaming ship dropped out of the sky "They were a good bunch, we sent their personals home". Lt. John P. Keys and his crew, 8th Army Air Force, 3rd Division, 13th Wing, 100th Bomb Group, 349th Bomb Squadron, from the personal diary of Pfc. Joseph A. Costanza. Courtesy of Mark Provost. 

D-Day — Joseph Costanza Diary, Mission 9.  Joseph Costsnza diary courtesy of Mark Provost

D-DAY—Joseph Costanza Diary, Mission 9 Page 2 .   Joseph Costsnza diary courtesy of Mark Provost

 Joseph Costanza Diary, Mission 10.  Joseph Costsnza diary courtesy of Mark Provost

 Joseph Costanza Diary, Mission 10, page 2 . Joseph Costsnza diary courtesy of Mark Provost

Crew receives Air Medal today

June 14, 1944  - "London, England" A journal entry by Pfc Joseph A. Costanza, 1st Lt John P. Keys and his crew were given a 4 day "Flak Leave". The crew decided to go to London but were concerned about the "Buzz" bombings. They were planning on staying at the YMCA however they were full and forced to stay in a hotel. Very lucky for them, that same evening the YMCA was hit by a Buzz Bomb injuring and killing several serviceman. 8th Army Air Force, 3rd Division, 13th Wing, 100th Bomb Group, 349th Bomb Squadron, from the personal diary of Pfc. Joseph A. Costanza. 

June 23, 1944  - Journal entry by Pfc Joseph A Costanza, Lt Keys and his crew were still on flak leave and the group went on a "shuttle raid" to to Russia. Another crew used their aircraft and were shot up pretty bad (no one was hurt) and had to crash land as the landing gear was shot out. Aircraft salvaged and the Keys crew would soon be assigned a new aircraft. By journal entry, this the 3rd aircraft since arriving in Europe. Lt. John P. Keys and his crew, 8th Army Air Force, 3rd Division, 13th Wing, 100th Bomb Group, 349th Bomb Squadron, from the personal diary of Pfc. Joseph A. Costanza. Courtesy of Mark Provost 

June 25, 1944  - Mission #11 "Military Secret/ South, France", for Lt. John P. Keys and his crew, 8th Army Air Force, 3rd Division, 13th Wing, 100th Bomb Group, 349th Bomb Squadron, from the personal diary of Pfc. Joseph A. Costanza. Courtesy of Mark Provost

PS 100th BG was over at Framlingham ( 390th BG)  while Runway and Taxi ways were repaired at Thorpe Abbotts. 

June 29, 1944  - Mission #12 "Bohlen, Germany", for Lt. John P. Keys and his crew, 8th Army Air Force, 3rd Division, 13th Wing, 100th Bomb Group, 349th Bomb Squadron, from the personal diary of Pfc. Joseph A. Costanza. Courtesy of Mark Provost 

June 29, 1944  - Mission #12 "Bohlen, Germany",Part 2  for Lt. John P. Keys and his crew, 8th Army Air Force, 3rd Division, 13th Wing, 100th Bomb Group, 349th Bomb Squadron, from the personal diary of Pfc. Joseph A. Costanza

July 11, 1944  - Mission #13 "Munich, Germany", for Lt. John P. Keys and his crew, 8th Army Air Force, 3rd Division, 13th Wing, 100th Bomb Group, 349th Bomb Squadron, from the personal diary of Pfc. Joseph A. Costanza (Missing the journal first page of July 11th entry). Courtesy of Mark Provost

July 12, 1944  - Mission #14 "Munich, Germany", for Lt. John P. Keys and his crew, 8th Army Air Force, 3rd Division, 13th Wing, 100th Bomb Group, 349th Bomb Squadron, from the personal diary of Pfc. Joseph A. Costanza

July 14, 1944  - Mission #15 "MILITARY SECRET, France" not to be written about or spoken of, for Lt. John P. Keys and his crew, 8th Army Air Force, 3rd Division, 13th Wing, 100th Bomb Group, 349th Bomb Squadron, from the personal diary of Pfc. Joseph A. Costanza. Courtesy of Mark Provost

Maquis Supply Drop of ammo and guns 

July 14, 1944 Thorpe Abbotts, England - A special day for Lt. John P. Keys & crew... today Lt. John P. Keys, 8th Army Air Force, 3rd Division, 13th Wing, 100th Bomb Group, 349th Bomb Squadron, was recognized and awarded the "Distinguished Flying Cross".  From the journal entry from Pfc Joseph A Costanza... "for the way he has been bringing us back"  Courtesy of Mark Provost

July 17, 1944  - Mission #16 "AUXERRE, France", for Lt. John P. Keys and his crew, 8th Army Air Force, 3rd Division, 13th Wing, 100th Bomb Group, 349th Bomb Squadron, from the personal diary of Pfc. Joseph A. Costanza. Courtesy of Mark Provost

July 19, 1944  - Mission #17 "SCHWIENFURT, Germany", The target was a Messerschmitt 109 and twin engine 110 Factory, for Lt. John P. Keys and his crew, 8th Army Air Force, 3rd Division, 13th Wing, 100th Bomb Group, 349th Bomb Squadron, from the personal diary of Pfc. Joseph A. Costanza. Courtesy of Mark Provost

July 20, 1944  - Mission #18 "Merseburg, Germany", The target was a refinery, for Lt. John P. Keys and his crew, 8th Army Air Force, 3rd Division, 13th Wing, 100th Bomb Group, 349th Bomb Squadron, from the personal diary of Pfc. Joseph A. Costanza

July 21, 1944  - Mission #19 "Ludweigshaven, Germany",  for Lt. John P. Keys and his crew, 8th Army Air Force, 3rd Division, 13th Wing, 100th Bomb Group, 349th Bomb Squadron, from the personal diary of Pfc. Joseph A. Costanza. Courtesy of Mark Provost

July 24, 1944  - Pfc Joseph A. Costanza, reflected that today is his birthday, the second birthday he has celebrated while in the Army Air Corps. he turned  22 years old back on this date in 1944.  Lt. John P. Keys and his crew, 8th Army Air Force, 3rd Division, 13th Wing, 100th Bomb Group, 349th Bomb Squadron, from the personal diary of Pfc. Joseph A. Costanza

July 25, 1944  - Mission #20 "St LO, France", Lt. Keys and his crew were one of the bombers who did not receive the call off and according to Joseph Costanzas' diary, dropped their bombs and then returned to Thorpe Abbotts for a prompt rearming. This mission is omitted from the MACR mission log sheet?  8th Army Air Force, 3rd Division, 13th Wing, 100th Bomb Group, 349th Bomb Squadron, from the personal diary of Pfc. Joseph A. Costanza . Courtesy of Mark Provost 

July 28, 1944  - Mission #21 "Merseburg, Germany", at this point according to Pfc Joseph Costanza, the left waist gunners are alternating missions and he stayed behind on this run. He mentioned that the lead aircraft was lost and the pilot was a good friend of Lt. John P. Keys. 8th Army Air Force, 3rd Division, 13th Wing, 100th Bomb Group, 349th Bomb Squadron, from the personal diary of Pfc. Joseph A. Costanza. Courtesy of Mark Provost

July 29, 1944  - A journal entry by Pfc Joseph A. Costanza, Lt. John P. Keys and his crew were not sent on the mission "Leipzig, Germany" on this day. A new crew used their aircraft for the run. Two crews that shared their hut, were on mission #13 and Mission #19, both were shot down over Germany. The group sent a total of 12 aircraft on this mission, only 4 made it back. The crew using the Lt. Keys aircraft crash landed on return and the plane headed for the salvage yard. 8th Army Air Force, 3rd Division, 13th Wing, 100th Bomb Group, 349th Bomb Squadron, from the personal diary of Pfc. Joseph A. Costanza. Courtesy of Mark Provost 

Page 2 - July 29, 1944  -  A journal entry by Pfc Joseph A. Costanza, Lt. John P. Keys and his crew were not sent on the mission "Leipzig, Germany" on this day. A new crew used their aircraft for the run. Two crews that shared their hut, were on mission #13 and Mission #19, both were shot down over Germany. The group sent a total of 12 aircraft on this mission, only 4 made it back. The crew using the Lt. Keys aircraft crash landed on return and the plane headed for the salvage yard. 8th Army Air Force, 3rd Division, 13th Wing, 100th Bomb Group, 349th Bomb Squadron, from the personal diary of Pfc. Joseph A. Costanza. Courtesy of Mark Provost 

July 31, 1944  - Mission #22 "Munich, Germany", at this point according to Pfc Joseph Costanza, he is a "spare gunner" and again is not flying with Lt. John P. Keys & crew. 8th Army Air Force, 3rd Division, 13th Wing, 100th Bomb Group, 349th Bomb Squadron, from the personal diary of Pfc. Joseph A. Costanza. Courtesy of Mark Provost

August 1, 1944  - A journal entry by Pfc Joseph A. Costanza, Lt. John P. Keys and his crew were not sent on the mission on this day, but the squadron sent many aircraft, deep into Germany. One ship dropped their bombs and struck another aircraft below causing it to explode...another ship took a direct flak hit with only two parachutes seen making it out.... . 8th Army Air Force, 3rd Division, 13th Wing, 100th Bomb Group, 349th Bomb Squadron, from the personal diary of Pfc. Joseph A. Costanza. Courtesy of Mark Provost

August 2, 1944  - Mission #23 "La Fère, France", there is conflict between Pfc Joseph Costanza journal entry, he states the crew flew a mission to "Laffers, Germany" but the MACR mission list shows them flying to "Beauter, France", (Thanks Jim Burton, location verified...)Pfc Costanza is a "spare gunner" and did not flying with Lt. John P. Keys & crew. 8th Army Air Force, 3rd Division, 13th Wing, 100th Bomb Group, 349th Bomb Squadron, from the personal diary of Pfc. Joseph A. Costanza. Courtesy of Mark Prevost

August 4, 1944  - Mission #24 "Hamburg, Germany", Pfc Costanza is a "spare gunner" and did not flying with Lt. John P. Keys & crew on this mission but these are his diary notes. 8th Army Air Force, 3rd Division, 13th Wing, 100th Bomb Group, 349th Bomb Squadron, from the personal diary of Pfc. Joseph A. Costanza. Courtesy of Mark Provost. 

 August 6, 1944  - Mission #25 "Berlin, Germany", Pfc Costanza is a "spare gunner" and did not flying with Lt. John P. Keys & crew on this mission but these are his diary notes. No planes lost on this mission and the flak was inaccurate ... 8th Army Air Force, 3rd Division, 13th Wing, 100th Bomb Group, 349th Bomb Squadron, from the personal diary of Pfc. Joseph A. Costanza

August 7, 1944  - Mission #26 "Northern France", Pfc Costanza is a "spare gunner" and did not fly on this mission as he is now waiting to attend a special school.  Lt. John P. Keys & crew flew this mission ... 8th Army Air Force, 3rd Division, 13th Wing, 100th Bomb Group, 349th Bomb Squadron, from the personal diary of Pfc. Joseph A. Costanza

August 8, 1944  - Mission #27 "Northern France", Pfc Costanza is a "spare gunner" and did not fly on this mission. This is the final journal entry for Lt. John O. Keys by Joseph Costanza and this is based on what witnesses told Costanza after they returned to base. 

 Lt. John P. Keys & crew flew this mission, this would be there final mission taking direct flak hits over St Sylvain, France and the wreckage came to rest in the town of Périgny. The local people helped my Great Uncle, S/Sgt Gilbert A. Borba (W/G) and Lt. Elton Dickens (Bombardier) who died within hours from his injuries. Uncle Gib was captured by German soldiers shortly after Dickens had died and remained a POW until the war ended ... 8th Army Air Force, 3rd Division, 13th Wing, 100th Bomb Group, 349th Bomb Squadron, from the personal diary of Pfc. Joseph A. Costanza

Part 2: August 8, 1944  - Mission #27 "Northern France", Pfc Costanza is a "spare gunner" and did not fly on this mission. This is the final journal entry for Lt. John O. Keys by Joseph Costanza and this is based on what witnesses told Costanza after they returned to base. 

 Lt. John P. Keys & crew flew this mission, this would be there final mission taking direct flak hits over St Sylvain, France and the wreckage came to rest in the town of Périgny. The local people helped my Great Uncle, S/Sgt Gilbert A. Borba (W/G) and Lt. Elton Dickens (Bombardier) who died within hours from his injuries. Uncle Gib was captured by German soldiers shortly after Dickens had died and remained a POW until the war ended ... 8th Army Air Force, 3rd Division, 13th Wing, 100th Bomb Group, 349th Bomb Squadron, from the personal diary of Pfc. Joseph A. Costanza

 

SERVED IN:

Crew 1

ID: 443