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Joseph John Molinari

Military

Shot down 20 December 1943 in B-17 #4231084. Killed in Action (KIA). Earlier 10/14/43 on takeoff for Schweinfurt in B17#42-30193 'Hard Luck', no. 3 engine caught fire during take off with 10 bombs aboard. Lt. Swith retracted landing gear to avoid trees. Crew escaped before ac caught fire and exploded.

DFC/ AM w/ 3 Oak Leaf Cluster/ PH

Service

People

  • Kenneth Eccleston

    Military | Lieutenant | Pilot | 388th Bomb Group
    Shot down 20 December 1943 in B-17 #42-31084. Killed in Action (KIA). AM w/ 3 Oak Leaf Cluster

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Units served with

  • 388th Bomb Group

    388th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 388th Bomb Group flew strategic bombing mission from Knettishall, Suffolk from June 1943 to the end of the war. During this time, though, detachments were sent to Fersfield, Norfolk to conduct Aphrodite missions. In these Aphrodite missions veteran...

  • 561st Bomb Squadron

Aircraft

  • 42-30193 Hard Luck

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 24/4/43; Sioux City 8/5/43; Smoky Hill 9/6/43; Dow Fd 14/6/43; Assigned 561BS/388BG Knettishall 15/6/43. ...

  • 42-31084

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 16/9/43; Assigned 561BS/388BG Knettishall 9/10/43; Missing in Action Bremen 20/12/43 with Ken Eccleston, Co-pilot: Pete Schou, Navigator: John Dorsett, Bombardier: Tom Tollin, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Joe Molinari, Radio...

  • 42-3262 Sweetheart

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 16/4/43; Dow Fd 12/6/43; Assigned 561BS/388BG Knettishall 23/6/43 SWEETHEART; Returned to the USA Tinker 7/7/44; Reconstruction Finance Corporation (sold for scrap metal in USA) Kingman 28/11/45; also named JEANNIE and WILSON'S WILDCATS.

  • 42-5905 Just Ag

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Long Beach 26/4/43; Sioux City 7/5/43; Smoky Hill 9/6/43; Dow Fd 30/6/43; Assigned 561BS/388BG Knettishall 3/7/43; detailed Solignen, 30/11/43 with Paul Kelly, Co-pilot: John Corzette, Navigator: John Wiley, Bombardier: Marion Wiles, Flight...

Missions

  • VIII Bomber Command 74

    17 July 1943
    The railroad industry at Hannover, Germany and the aircraft industry at Hamburg, Germany were the intended targets for this mission but weather caused the mission to be cancelled. The element sent to Hannover was a combined force of 207 B-17s from:...

  • VIII Bomber Command 75

    24 July 1943
    Three targets in Norway are the primary targets for this first mission flown by 8th AIr Force to Norway. They are the nitrate works at Heroya and the port areas at Trondheim and Bergen. The first element is a combined force of 180 B-17s from: 91BG (22)...

  • VIII Bomber Command 76

    25 July 1943
    This mission was composed of three elements. The primary targets were the diesel engine works at Hamburg, Germany; the shipyards at Kiel, Germany and the aircraft industries at Warnemude, Germany, but weather frustrated the effort. The first element...

  • VIII Bomber Command 77

    26 July 1943
    The German rubber industry at Hannover, Germany and the U-Boat shipyards at Hamburg, Germany are the primary focus of this mission. In addition, a German ship convoy and targets of opportunity at Wilhelmshaven and Wesermunde are bombed. The first...

  • VIII Bomber Command 78

    28 July 1943
    The German aircraft industry at Kassel (Fieseler works) and Oscherleben, Germany are the primary targets of this mission. 182 B-17s from: 91BG (20); 92BG (17); 303BG (20); 305BG (21); 306BG (24); 351BG (21); 379BG (19); 381BG (20); and 384BG (20) are...

  • VIII Bomber Command 82

    15 August 1943
    German airfields in Holland and France are the targets for this mission. All of the attacks were made late in the afternoon just prior to sunset. The mission is composed of two elements. The first element is a combined force of 180 B-17s from: 91BG (20...

  • VIII Bomber Command 84

    17 August 1943
    The mission flown on 17-Aug-43, the 1st anniversary of the 1st mission flown by the 8th Air Force, is probably the most written about mission of the war. This is the famous Schweinfurt/Regensburg mission on which 60 B-17s are lost. It has been dubbed ...

  • VIII Bomber Command 91

    6 September 1943
    This mission was planned as massive attack of 338 B-17s on the industrial areas of Stuttgart, Germany and would be supported by a formation of 69 B-24s flying a diversion. This would be the first action from the UK for the B-24 Groups that had recently...

  • VIII Bomber Command 92

    7 September 1943
    Two German airfields, one at Brussels, Begium and the other at Bergen, Holland, and the V-Weapons sites around Watten, France are the primary targets for this mission. ...

  • VIII Bomber Command 94 OPERATION STARKEY

    9 September 1943
    This mission has been named OPERATION STARKEY. It is planned as a coordinated attack of multiple bomber elements upon multiple targets and incorporates fighter escort as a rehearsal of what may be required to support an invasion of the Continent. It is...

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Associated Place

  • Knettishall

    Military site : airfield
    Knettishall was built to Class A standard for an American Bomb Group that would be bringing up to forty heavy bombers with them in three or four Squadrons. The 388th Bomb Group, which stayed at Knettishall for their entire service in the ETO, flew B-17...

Events

Event Location Date
Born New York State 1921
Enlisted Governors Island, New York, NY 11231, USA 14 July 1942

Fort Jay

Died Bremen-Vegesack, Bremen, Germany 20 December 1943

Flak at the Target area was very intense and every plane suffered battle damage. Lt. Eccleston, in a/c 42-31084, was lost due to this flak; and, when last seen at 1212 hours, he was going down with his bomb bay doors open and on fire.

Buried 1945

Tablets of The Missing
Cambridge American Cemetery and Memorial • Coton, South Cambridgeshire District, Cambridgeshire, England

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
17 December 2017 23:26:50 466thHistorian Changes to middlename, highest rank, awards, events, person associations, aircraft associations and mission associations
Sources

http://www.388bg.info/servlet/Controller?pageType=detail&id=388-I-MOL04-...
http://www.ww2enlistment.org/index.php?page=directory&rec=2929133
https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/56292601/joseph-j-molinari

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:17:21 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

ABMC; MACR 3154, Losses of the 8th & 9th AFs Vol I by Bishop & Hey p. 342 / Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia

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