Training


Lt. Gordon W. Rosencrans, pilot

His radio first phase training was in AAB Pueblo, Colorado; his final phase was in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. He attended gunnery school in Yuma, Arizona with the 2nd Air Force; and his final staging area was at Sheppard Field, Wichita Falls, Texas.

His crew flew their B-24 bomber, "The Tremblin Gremlin," to the European Theater of War and were assigned to the 15th Air Force in Italy. Jesse was the radio operator and waist gunner.

On a mission to bomb the Markersdorf airdrome at Vienna, 50 German Messerschmitts attacked the plane. The gunner, Jesse, "got" four of them. Quoting the pilot, 2nd Lt. Gordon W. Rosencrans in a newspaper interview,

"My waist gunner, whose leg was blown off, stood on his one remaining leg and shot down two more of the fighters before machinegun bullets hit the gas tank of our plane and blew it up. That was the most heroic deed I ever saw. His name was Jessie M. Whisenant from San Benito, Texas."

The crew parachuted out from a height of 23,000 ft. Jesse died at the age of 19 shortly after they reached the ground.Jesse served with great distinction and valor that not only contributed to the saving of his fellow crew members but ultimately the winning of World War II and the saving of this great country of ours.

After World War II, Jesse's remains were returned, and he is buried at the Ft. Sam Houston Cemetery in San Antonio, Texas.

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