Gilbert Nelson Jerome was born in New Haven Connecticut to Elizabeth Maude Jerome, who attended the Hartford Female Seminary in the 1870s and Yuan Phou Lee, a Yale-educated scholar and lecturer from Canton China. Jerome divorced Lee shortly after their son Gilbert's birth. She raised the children with her mother, a well-known portrait artist, in New Haven. Gilbert Nelson Jerome graduated with honors from New Haven High School and received a Ph.B. in electrical engineering from Yale University in 1910. He also received a Bachelor of Humanics degree from the International YMCA College in Springfield, Massachusetts in 1914. He became the first Scout Executive of the Boy Scouts of America in New Haven in 1915. In 1917, when the United States entered World War I, Jerome volunteered and trained as a pilot. He was commissioned as First Lieutenant in the Aviation Section Signal Officers Reserve Corps and was sent to Paris France for training. He flew for the 8th French Army in a Spad 90 and was killed near Blamont France on 11 July 1918. He was buried in a German military cemetery near Blamont. His remains were later moved to an American military cemetery in Argonne, France in 1919, and then moved again and reburied in New Haven, Connecticut in 1921 at Evergreen Cemetery. A stained glass window, which was created by Tiffany and Company, was donated by his mother to the Plymouth Congregational Church in New Haven.

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