Gordon A. Grip

Commissioned as Navigators

Hondo, Texas Navigation School’s New Year’s gift to Germany and Japan is another record class of combat navigators, eager to guide heavy bombing raids to stab at the heart of the enemy.

Receiving their navigator wings on Christmas Eve were Second Lieutenant Gordon A. Grip, 22, son of Mr. and Mrs. Martin A. Grip, 713 Fourth Avenue, Eau Claire, and Second Lieutenant Wayne L. Jorgenson, 20, son of Mr. and Mrs. Ole B. Jorgenson, Glenwood City.

Each man is an aerial expert, trained to find the target by day or night, in fair or inclement weather. Some of the new graduates were officers before entering navigation training. Those who trained as cadets received, not only their wings, but also commissions as either Flight Officers or Second Lieutenants.

Lieutenant G. A. Grip, who has been spending a short leave with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. M. A. Grip, 713 Fourth Avenue, has left for his new post at Tampa, FL.

Lieutenant Gordon A. Grip, son of Mr. and Mrs. M. A. Grip, Eau Claire, has arrived at an Air Service Command Station in England and is undergoing classification to determine for what job he is best-fitted in the European Theater of Operations.  

Missing in Action on Bombing Mission
Second Lieutenant Gordon A. Grip, son of Mr. and Mrs. M. A. Grip, 713 Fourth Avenue, has been reported missing in action over Germany on May 29, according to word received by his parents from the War Department.

Lieutenant Grip was navigator on a B-17 bomber.

Airman Listed Missing Cables Parents Here
A cablegram from their son, announcing that he would be home soon, ended three months of anxiety for Mr. and Mrs. M. A. Grip, 713 Fourth Avenue, who had heard nothing since Lieutenant Gordon A. Grip, U.S. Army Air Corps, was reported missing May 29 in a bombing mission over Germany.

The brief cablegram, saying that he would "see you soon," was the first word since the Flying Fortress, on which Lieutenant Grip was a navigator, failed to return from a raid on the Reich.

No explanation of Lieutenant Grip's whereabouts, during the interval, was contained in the message.

Aided by Belgian Underground When Plane Crash-Lands There
First Lieutenant Gordon Grip, son of Mr. and Mrs. M. A. Grip, 713 Fourth Avenue, is shown above with two American Air Force members, who enjoy American cigarettes and candy after a long masquerade in Belgium. Lieutenant Grip was in Belgium three months. The picture was taken on September 8, 1944, the day after their liberation by American and English forces near Maissin, Belgium.

The three men were dressed in civilian clothes and had Belgian identification papers.

Lieutenant Grip, who at present is stationed at Ellington Field, Texas, was navigator of a plane which crash landed in Belgium on May 29, 1944. The crew members ran into a woods nearby, followed by Germans who were unable to capture them, although they fired at the men in the woods.

Until a member of the Belgian underground came for them three days later, the men lived on K rations without water. After they became affiliated with the Belgian underground, the men often times cooked for themselves, although occasionally Belgians cooked for them. They were provided with shelter by the Belgians.

A Belgian, educated in England and who spoke fluent English, took care of them. It was reported that he was paid by the Allies for protecting Allied men. The 15 or 20 men were not taken into Belgian homes and were not kept in one place. For some time, they were in the woods near the chateau of a countess. Later, they spent a month at the hunting lodge of the King of Belgium. 

The day of their liberation, the men were nearly captured; one of the party was. 

Lieutenant Grip returned to Eau Claire in September 1944 and was stationed in Florida during the winter. 

Distribution of the above picture was held by the censors until  victory in Europe.

Lt. Gordon Grip Tells of Escape Through Belgium
Lieutenant Gordon A. Grip, son of Mr. and Mrs. M. A. Grip, 713 Fourth Avenue, is home on a 24-day leave, after a narrow escape from being made a German prisoner, when the B-17, on which he was navigator, crash-landed in Belgium. 

He was reported missing in action on May 29, last and, for three months, his parents received no further word. However, on September 12, he cabled them, saying he would be home soon, but omitting any reference as to where he had been between May and September. 

Lieutenant Grip was concealed by Belgium patriots, after his plane crashed, and tells of a narrow escape from the Germans at one time.  All crew  members, except one, were liberated when the Allied armies marched through Belgium and arrived back in England on September 10. It is believed the still-missing crew member was taken a German prisoner.