2ndLT Jesse C. Maupin Born June 16, 1920 - KIA Nov 26, 1943

2LT Jesse C. Maupin.2Lt Jesse C. Maupin (J.C.), navigator of Gregory the Great, was born June 16, 1920, in Blue Springs Community, Cleveland Tennessee, the son of William and Annie Maupin. He was the third-born of 8 siblings (3 sisters and 4 brothers).
J. C. was known to his family as a very tender-hearted, lovable, friendly guy. Almost as soon as he arrived in England, he met some of the local people and would visit and have tea with them. But his top priority was always his family – he always tried to help them. He loved animals, especially cats. (He is reported to have had as many as 14.) He was not an original member of the crew, but replaced 2Lt Malrait when he became ill. This happened just before they left New Mexico for Topeka, Kansas where they would get one of the new B-24H bombers and familiarization training for a short period before embarking on their mission. He and Lt Malrait had both graduated from navigation training at Selmar Field, in Monroe, Louisiana. J.C.'s future plans were to continue his military career when the war was over.
He flew 11 missions only 7 of which counted toward the homeward bound goal of 25 because 4 were decoys/diversions for crews on bomb-loaded missions.

*During these first missions, combat losses were heavy indeed. During the 21 combat operations flown in 1943, a total of 20 aircraft were lost. Of the original 35 aircrews assigned, only 18 remained on December 31, an attrition rate of almost fifty percent. On 1 July 1943 (during stateside training), there were 85 pilots and copilots assigned to the unit. A short six months later, only 35 remained. Of the 50-pilot cadre lost by the 392nd, 19 had been transferred to other units, 29 were missing-in-action (MIA), and 2 had been killed in a crash during training. By December 31, 1943, replenishment aircrews had been assigned which brought the total number of crews to 66.

*Information from B24.net website.

2ndLT Jesse C. Maupin KIA Nov 26, 1943J.C. began to warn his family that things were really bad; that he was prepared for the worst, and that they too should prepare for a rough time. He wrote that the crew was the very best and that he would rather fly with "Bolick" than any other pilot.
After the war, when J.C.'s memorial was held in Tennesee, his parents were honored by being taken aboard a B-24 to see where their son had faithfully performed his job. In addition to J.C., three of his four brothers also fought in WWII but fortunately lived through the ordeal.
Paul, the eldest, fought with the 30th Infantry Division (Old Hickory). His division liberated the area around Maastricht, Netherlands, September 13, 1944. This was the first city in the Netherlands captured by the Germans. The Netherlands American Cemetery is located in the area and was completed in 1960.
J.C.'s brother, Billy was also in the Infantry and landed in Nice, France. His brother, Kermit, age 86, lives in Cleveland, Tennessee. He was a military policeman. Just prior to boarding his ship that would bring him home from Europe, he requested time and a vehicle from his commander to allow him to visit the cemetery in Germany where J.C. and other crewmates were originally buried prior to their being moved to other cemeteries. He took photos of the gravesite and was able to talk to the caretaker who had buried them and learned that after the crash, the crew had been placed in the church for viewing before burial.
His sister, Opal, took it upon herself to coordinate communication between the families of the lost crew which allowed all of them to communicate with each other giving them great solace. She also wrote to a family friend who was stationed with J.C. to inquire about the 2ndLT Jesse Maupin.circumstances surrounding the loss of the crew. The friend wrote that he was in formation behind Pete (Bolick), but the plane was in trouble and at one point was lagging behind the formation. However, he said they did regain their position and were reportedly seen over the target. (He could not verify that fact because his plane and crew were in jeopardy and had to fall back.) Opal also visited the mother and wife of Tag Yarbrough, the bombardier.
2LT Maupin is buried at the "Blue Springs Cemetery" Blue Springs, Bradley County, TN.

This information was provided by Joyce Maupin, J.C.'s baby sister and caretaker of the family history. She now resides in Cleveland Tennessee. 2LT Maupin is still missed by Joyce and her family.