BEN H. GILDART|
World War II
Memories and Biography
(Taken from a letter to Pete Henry)
April 16, 1986
Just a note to say "Hello" and to fulfill the unpleasant task of informing you of the passing of one of our comrades, Lt. Col. Ben H. Gildart, who passed away April 11, Greenville, Mississippi.
Ben had been quite ill for the past ten years having suffered a series of debilitating strokes that affected his left side and speech pattern. Due to these difficulties Ben had not been able to participate in our organization or that of the 44th and 68th Group and Squadron. I have endeavored over the years to keep him posted of the activities and requested some of our old squadron mates to do likewise.
Ben would have been delighted to have been able to participate in our organizations. Had he been physically able he would have been an outstanding member as he was in the service of our country.
Ben Gildart joined the 44th in July, 1943 and was assigned to the 68th squadron. He saw duty in North Africa and on return to the U.K. was designated to fly lead in the ensuing battles over Europe. At the conclusion of the war, Ben remained in the service and during the days of the Iron Curtain flew many missions on the Berlin AirLift. Later there were tours of duty with the Strategic Air Command. After retirement, he returned to his lovely Greenville, Miss. Where he settled into civilian life and entered the educational field. Ben was respected by his fellow officers and men. He was dedicated to the duty and effort that must be accomplished for the task at hand. He exemplified some of the best of the "Fighting 68th."
I pass this on to you Pete, that Ben should be properly remembered and so honored at his passing. Thank you and all the best.
Ben Gildart's copilot
Charles E. Cary
5442 Bonanza Dr.
Huntington Beach, CA 92649