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John J Lawlor


Shot down by flak and crashed near Caen on 8/8/44 in B-17 #42-102669, Prisoner of War (POW).

Flew on Lt. Richard Vogel crew on B-17 'How Soon'. Completed 34 missions from April 1944-08 August 1944. He was shot down on his 35th mission flying as tail gunner on Lt. Kata's crew. Lt. Kata gave a 'prepare to bail out' warning after the Flak hit and subsequent fire in our #3 engine. He left his combat position behind the twin '50's' to put on a chest parachute and then pulled the latch on the tail release escape hatch. In doing this he lost intercom communication. However, immediately upon releasing the hatch door 'bodies' went flying by the open hatch. Seeing the entire waist section evacuated he followed them out of the plane. He landed in a hedge row clearing with his chute draped over a Lombardy poplar tree. Before he was able to clear himself from the chute strapping and reached the ground a German Officer holding a P-38 machine gun 'covered him' and greeted him with the English words 'For you the war is over'.



Units served with

  • 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers

    306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers

    Constituted as 306th Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 28 Jan 1942. Activated on 1 Mar 1942. Trained for combat with B-17's. Moved to England, Aug-Sep 1942, and assigned to Eighth AF Eighth Air Force in September 1942 Station 111 Thurleigh. During combat,...

  • 369th Bomb Squadron


  • 42-102669 DAMYANKEE

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 24/3/44; Kearney 15/4/44; Grenier 29/4/44; Assigned 369BS/306BG [WW-G] Thurleigh 24/5/44; Missing in Action Cauvincourt, Fr 8/8/44 with Andy Kata, Co-pilot: George Simons, Navigator: Ray Bleker, togg-Phil Mundell, Flight engineer/top...


Event Location Date
Born Chicago, Illinois, USA
Prisoner of War (POW) Germany 8 August 1944 – 24 July 1945


Date Contributor Update
24 July 2020 20:41:58 jmoore43 Changes to role

Removed redundant data from Role field.

Date Contributor Update
24 July 2020 20:40:54 jmoore43 Changes to events

Updated POW event per WW2 POW records at the National Archives (NARA).

Date Contributor Update
24 July 2020 20:36:03 jmoore43 Changes to biography

Added a "-" to the A/C serial number in the "Summary biography" to aid clarity & consistency.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:16:16 AAM AAM ingest

306th BG Association Directory, 1 September 1999 Edition    MACR 8434; Combat Crews page 117. / Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / MACR 8434 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database