(nickname: "Pappy" or "Gig")

Gignac's trusted Assistant Crew Chief and friend, Sgt. Art Nellen checking the 108 gallon paper tank.

2nd Lt. - December 12, 1941
1st Lt.- September 1942
Captain - March 1943
Major - May 1944

7th PS, 49th PG
December 1941- May 1942
Australia, P-40s

40th PS, 35th PG
May 1942 - September 1942
New Guinea, P-400s

320th FS, 326th FG OTU
Nov-Dec 1942
Westover Field, Mass., P-47s

21st FS, 352nd FG
January 1943 - May 1943

486th FS, 352nd FG
May 1943-June 7, 1944
Bodney England, P-47D-2 and P-51B-10

Theatre(s): PTO/ETO

September 7, 1918

Damaged Japanese bombers June 18, 1942, New Guinea - Silver Star
Shared Me-110 Night fighter January 30, 1944 (with Al Marshall)
Confirmed Me-109, March 8th, 1944 - First victory for Group using P-51s. First mission with Mustangs flown by 352nd FG, mixed squadron with P-47s and P-51s, mission led by Lt. Col. Luther H. Richmond.

Total Sorties: N/A

Strike Rate: N/A

Darr Aerotech, Albany Georgia
April '41- August '41, PT-17

Georgia Aerotech, Augusta Georgia
Aug '41 - October '41

Craig Field, Selma, Alabama
Oct '41 - December '41

Gunnery School, Eglin, Florida

Graduated Class 41-I
on December 12, 1941

Silver Star
Distinguished Flying Cross with 1 OLC
Air Medal with 3 OLC's
Purple Heart

Assigned Combat Aircraft:
P-400 Airacobra BW-117
Destroyed in forced landing at 30 Mile Airstrip, New Guinea, July 11, 1942.

P-47D-2 Razorback Thunderbolt
"GIG'S-UP", Leaping Black Panther insignia from 35th FS used as nose art on fuselage, code PZ*G, s/n 42-22548. Damaged by other pilot in landing accident in February 1944. Repaired and assigned to 9th AF, 514th FS, 406th FG. Lt. Robert Shelton KIA in a/c by flak 17 September 1944.

P-51B-10 Mustang
"GIG'S-UP II", s/n 43-7185, code PZ*G, aircraft participated in first three-way Shuttle Mission to Russia and Italy, destroyed in forced crash landing on November 4, 1944 in Belgium.

Gignac joined the service in early 1941, graduating flight school immediately after the war started. He shipped out to the SW Pacific with the 7th Squadron of the 49th PG, was later transferred to the 40th PS of the 35th PG. This 35th Group was instrumental in halting the Japanese advance into Port Moresby in the Summer of 1942 against appalling odds. "Gig" won the Silver Star on June 18, 1942 for repeatedly attacking Japanese bombers while being riddled by pursuing Zeros. He was badly injured on July 11, 1942 after force landing his P-400 due to engine failure. After an extended recovery, he returned home, refused training duty, and was assigned to the 486th FS, 352nd FG. "Pappy" was a respected flight leader and pilot, and achieved 1.5 aerial victories ETO. He was KIA by flak while strafing in support of D-Day operations near Voisin le-BrETOnneux (Versailles area) on June 7, 1944. Major Gignac was Group Operations Officer, HQ 352nd FG at the time of his death. He is buried in the US Military Cemetary at Epinal, France.

While in the SW Pacific, another braggart pilot from the Northeast fancied himself a skier. Riding in a truck to the field one day in the New Guinea heat, he struck a downhill pose, and began to give ski instructions to everyone within earshot. To his dismay, it was pointed out by another pilot that quiet Edward "Gig" Gignac was a National champion skier! Apparently this other pilot never lived it down.

When promoted to Major and 352nd FG Group Operations Officer in May of 1944, an amazed "Pappy" wrote home,
"I'm no longer a mere cog, I'm a wheel!"