Gilbert Inland Omens

Pilot Officer, 133 (Eagle) Squadron
Service number 108642
Died 26 Jul 1942
Buried Brookwood Military Cemetery
Age 24

Gilbert was born on 9 December 1917 in Cook, Illinois to Russian born John and Anna nee Cooperman. He attended Lane Technical High School in Chicago and then trained as a pilot joining American Airlines. He was an active member of the Men’s Club of Agudas Achim North Shore Temple.

He was the pilot of Magister N3929 and died when the aircraft crashed after a forced landing at Chilworth Manor, Godalming, Surrey.

After Gilbert’s death a memorial service was held at North Shore Temple, Chicago where he had his Bar Mitzvah and two thousand people gathered to honour him. A scroll expressing the community’s admiration of Gilbert was presented to his parents. A letter he had written to his parents ‘in case’ was read at the services. ‘Please don’t think I fear death. The universe is so vast and ageless that the life of one man can only be justified by the measure of his deeds. When this war is over, Mother, and the boys come back, stand up and cheer for them, for I will be there, flying overhead with the rest of the Squadron of the dead. We never die; the things we have done will live forever. Thus in my early age my earthly mission is already fulfilled, and I am prepared to die with my heart filled with joy. God bless you all.’

Jewish Sentinel V.135 no 03, 1944
Jewish Sentinel 1944
Photo credit Paul McCue