P-51 Mustang Pilot Lt. Gervan Declared Dead, Lost over St. Lo

Fighter pilot 1st Lt. John Gervan of Nutley, NJ, MIA over St. Lo, France.(July 13, 1945) Ė 1st Lt. John Gervan, 27, reported missing last July 4, has been officially declared dead.

Mr. and Mrs. John Gervan of 83 Myrtle Avenue were notified that their son was piloting a P-51 Mustang with the 381st Fighter Squadron, 363rd Fighter group over St. Lo, France, when he was lost.

According to the story of one of the airmanís buddies who was with him on his fatal 46th mission, Lt. Gervan was on his way back to the base when he noticed his left wing man was missing.

He turned back to try and locate the other ship and was never seen again. The pilot he had gone in search of turned up later but said he hadnít seen Gervan.

Entering service Jan. 10, 1941, Gervan received his wings at Napier Field, Ala., in May 1943. In December of that same year he was sent to Iceland where he piloted a P-38 with the 50th Fighter Squadron.

Upon reaching England, he was transferred to the Mustang P-51 planes. He served in that theatre five months.

Lt. Gervan was born in Passaic and had lived in Nutley 21 years.

A graduate of Nutley High School, he was a member of the Alpine Wheelmen and was active as a racing cyclist.

He married Miss Ethel Wagner of Orange in June 1943.


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