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Joseph S Klasnick

Military

1-Apr-42 303BG website personnel records have SGT Joseph F. Klasnick assigned as an Aerial Gunner with the crew of Louis M. Schulstad probably on B-17 41-24567 [PU-J] "Beats Me" 303BG/360BS. However, the records do not indicate that he stayed with that aircraft and crew, and it could not be determined when he arrived at Molesworth, UK.

3-Jan-43 SGT Klasnick flew his first 16 Operations as Right Waist Gunner on B-17 41-24567 "Beats Me", 303BG/360BS as a substitute gunner.

23 Jan 1943 as Left Waist Gunner on B-17 41-24579 "Thumper", 303BG/360BS the aircraft sustained battle damage on a mission to Lorient, France and returned to southwest England with only one engine operating. Pilot Castle ordered a bale out . Pilots Castle and Fitzsimmons landed B-17 41-24579 "Thumper" wheels up near Bristol. He baled out and was not injured and Returned to Duty (RTD).

On 25-Jun-43 in B-17 42-5468 'Quinine The Bitter Dose' while serving as Waist Gunner the aircraft was attacked by fighters on a mission to Hamburg, Germany. The Radio Operator, TSgt Dick W. Jones was killed in the attack and Navigator, 1Lt James F. Kelly and SSgt Klasnick were wounded. The pilot Capt George V. Stallings managed to fly the aircraft back to England and he ordered the crew to bale out in the area of Coltishall, Norfolk. He then flew the aircraft out to sea and baled out off of Waxham, Norfolk and swam ashore. SSgt Klasnick bailed out successfully and after a short stay in hospital Returned to Duty (RTD) He was awarded the Silver Star and Purple Heart for his actions on this day. RTD.

On 8-Mar-44 in B-17 42-31471 'Doolittle's Destroyers' while serving as Toggler the aircraft was the damaged by flak and later attacked by ME109s on a mission to Berlin. The entire crew was able to bail out and all were captured as Prisoners of War (POW). Captured near Hillersleben, Germany. This was his 16th mission.

Mission Participations (UNDER CONSTRUCTION) See Biography events.

Service

People

  • John Castle

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 303rd Bomb Group
    17-Feb-42 Assigned as Pilot of B-17F #41-24579 [PU-F] "Thumper", 303BG/360BS at Gowen Field, Boise, Idaho. 16-Oct-42 Arrived at Molesworth, UK as pilot of "Thumper". ...

  • George Stallings

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 303rd Bomb Group
    20-Mar-43 Assigned as Co-Pilot of B-17F 42-5393 [PU-G] "Thumper Again", 303BG/360BS at Molesworth, UK with the rank of First Lieutanant. ...

Units served with

  • 8th Air Force

    8th Air Force


    Eighth Air Force Bomber Command became the Eighth Air Force on February 1944, it oversaw bombardment of strategic targets in Europe until 1945. ...

  • 303rd Bomb Group

    303rd Bomb Group

    Group
    The 303rd Bombardment Group (Heavy) was activated on 3-Feb-1942 at Pendleton Field, Oregon. They assembled at Gowen Field, Idaho on 11-February 1942 where it conducted flight training until 12-Jun-1942. The Group then moved to Alamogordo Field, New...

  • 360th Bomb Squadron

Aircraft

  • 41-24567 Beats Me

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    B-17F 41-24567 [PU:J] "Beats Me" was assigned 360BS/303BG [PU-J] Bangor 14-Oct-42; Molesworth 16-Oct-42. Participated in 7 Operations - 2 Aborted (See Biography events) ...

  • 41-24579 Thumper

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    B-17F 41-24579 "Thumper" was assigned 360BS/303BG [PU-F] 17-Feb-42 Gowen Field, Idaho; Bangor 14-Oct-42; Molesworth 16-Oct-42; Aircraft damaged by AA fire and enemy fighters on mission to Lorient, France on 23-Jan-43. 11 man crew. Belly-landed at...

  • 42-31471 "Doolittle's Destroyers"

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    B-17G 42-31471 was delivered at Cheyenne 5-Nov-43; Kearney 20-Nov-43; Prestwick 7-Dec-43; Assigned 360BS/306BG [PU-E] Thurleigh 1-Jan-44; On 8-Mar-44 the aircraft was despatched to bomb the VKF Ball Bearing Works at Erkner, Germany outside Berlin. The...

  • 42-5468 Quinine -The Bitter Dose

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    B-17F 42-5468 was delivered at Denver 11-Dec-42; Salina 8-Jan-4343; Assigned 360BS/303BG [PU-I] Molesworth 8-Apr-43; On 25-Jun-43 the aircraft was depatched to bomb the construction shops adjacent to the submarine building at Hamburg, Germany. On the...

  • 42-5723

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    B-17F-5-VE 42-5723 [PU:D] was delivered Long Beach 30-Sep-42; Tulsa 4-Oct-42; Wayne 5-Nov-42; Salina 27-Nov-42; Assigned 360BS/303BG [PU-D] at Molesworth, UK 13-Feb-43; battle damaged over Vegasak on 18-Mar-43 crash landed with wheels up in field four...

Missions

  • VIII Bomber Command 28

    3 January 1943
    The U-Boat pens at St. Nazaire, France are once again the target for this mission. This is proving to be a particularly difficult target to destroy due to its massive, reinforced concrete design. It consists of 14 individual pens connected together in...

  • VIII Bomber Command 30

    23 January 1943
    The port area and U-Boat pens at Lorient, France are the primary target for this mission. 305th Bombardment Group is selected as the lead group, but condensation on the bombsight of the lead aircraft in the Group prevents the 305BG from bombing Lorient...

  • VIII Bomber Command 43

    13 March 1943
    The railroad marshalling yards at Amiens/Longeau, France are the primary target for this mission but the rail line at Romescamps, the German airfield at Abbevile/Drucat and two other targets of opportunity are also bombed. 80 B-17s are despatched: 91BG...

  • VIII Bomber Command 67

    25 June 1943
    This mission was intended to be the first major attack on the industrial area of Hamburg, Germany but weather and contrails made fromation flying too difficult and dangerous. As a result, the main formation 197 B-17s from: 91BG (18); 92BG (23); 303BG ...

  • 8th Air Force 252

    8 March 1944
    The VKF ballbearing factory at Berlin/Erkner is the primary target for 623 heavy bombers despatched by all three Air Divisions. Fighter opposition and anti-aircraft fire are intense. There are so many formation attacking that some divert to other...

Associated Place

  • Molesworth

    Military site : airfield
    Molesworth was one of the early stations used by the Eighth Air Force in the UK, first occupied by the 15th Bomb Squadron’s Douglas Bostons in June 1942. Built in 1940 and extended and improved in 1942, Molesworth is most associated with the 303rd...

  • Stalag Luft IV

    Other location

  • Dulag Luft 12

    Other location

Events

Event Location Date
Born Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 13 April 1916

Son of Anna Magee Klasnick.

Enlisted Pittsburgh, PA 7 January 1942

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Assigned to Unit Boise, ID, USA 1 April 1942

Assigned as an Aerial Gunner with the 303BG/360BS. Personnel Roster indicates he may have been assigned to B-17 41-24567 "Beats Me". At Gowen Field, Boise, Idaho.

Mission #1, SGT Joseph S. Klasnick, w/B-17F 41-24567, 303BG/360BS Saint-Nazaire, France 3 January 1943

Served as a substitute Right Waist Gunner on B-17 41-24567 "Beats Me", 303BG/360BS on a mission to bomb the U-Boat pens at St. Nazaire, France. RTB OK.

Returned to Duty (RTD) Bristol, City of Bristol, UK 23 January 1943

Baled out of B-17 41-24579 near Bristol when aircraft returned to England with severe damage on mission to Lorient, France,

Mission #2, SGT Joseph S. Klasnick, w/B-17F 41-24579, 303BG/360BS - BO/RTD Lorient, France 23 January 1943

Served as a substitute Left Waist Gunner on B-17 41-24579 "Thumper", 303BG/360BS on a mission to bomb the U-Boat pens at Lorient, France. The aircraft sustained battle damage but returned to southwest England and the pilot ordered a bale out. Aircraft was crash landed, wheels up near Bristol. He baled out and was not injured. BO/RTD

Mission #3, SGT Joseph S. Klasnick, w/B-17F 42-5723, 303BG/360BS Amiens, France 13 March 1943

Served as Left Waist Gunner on B-17 42-5723, 303BG/360BS on a mission to bomb the railroad marshalliong yards at Amiens, France. RTB OK.

Wounded in Action (WIA) Coltishall, Norwich, Norfolk NR12, UK 25 June 1943

Wounded in B-17 42-5468 on mission to Hamburg, Germany baled out over Coltishall UK and in hospital for a time then Returned to Duty.

Prisoner of War (POW) Tychów, Poland 9 March 1944 – 30 January 1945

Prisoner of War (POW). Stalag Luft IV.

Discharged USAAF 30 October 1945

Honourable discharge.

Died Pittsburgh, PA 1 November 1978

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
17 February 2021 20:36:22 Al_Skiff Changes to biography, events, person associations, unit associations and place associations
Sources

https://www.fold3.com/image/28758135
https://www.fold3.com/image/545092208
https://www.fold3.com/record/19838850/joseph-klasnick-social-security-de...
https://www.fold3.com/record/83753984/joseph-s-klasnick-wwii-army-enlist...
https://www.fold3.com/record/628082686/joseph-klasnick-veterans-affairs-...

Date Contributor Update
17 March 2020 02:22:51 jmoore43 Changes to biography and events
Sources

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

Date Contributor Update
16 March 2020 19:20:10 jmoore43 Changes to biography
Sources

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

Date Contributor Update
09 March 2016 23:08:50 Lee8thbuff Changes to aircraft associations and mission associations
Sources

Lee Cunningham 9-Mar-2016. Made connection to Aircraft 42-5723 and Mission of 13-Mar-43 per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian, Mission Report of 13-Mar-43: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/023.pdf

Date Contributor Update
09 March 2016 23:05:04 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 3-Feb-2016. Added Mission #3 event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian: Mission Report of 13-Mar-43: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/023.pdf

Date Contributor Update
03 February 2016 23:45:57 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 3-Feb-2016. Added Assigned to Unit event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian, 303BG Personnel Roster: http://www.303rdbg.com/

Date Contributor Update
03 February 2016 23:41:53 Lee8thbuff Changes to biography and events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 3-Feb-2016. Added Mission #2 event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian: Mission Report of 23-Jan-43: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/011.pdf

Date Contributor Update
03 February 2016 23:22:11 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 3-Feb-2016. Added Mission # 1 event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian, Mission Report of 3-Jan-43: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/009.pdf

Date Contributor Update
03 February 2016 23:16:10 Lee8thbuff Changes to biography, aircraft associations and mission associations
Sources

Lee Cunningham 3-Feb-2016. Added intial assignment inof to Summary Biography and made connection to AC 41-24579 per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian; Leo B. McGrath crew page: http://www.303rdbg.com/360mcgrath.html

Date Contributor Update
14 February 2015 17:36:47 Lee8thbuff Changes to biography
Sources

Lee Cunningham 14-Feb-2015. Corrected typo on B-17F 42-31471.

Date Contributor Update
13 February 2015 22:18:04 Lee8thbuff Changes to biography, awards and events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 13-Feb-2015. Added 2 RTD events per "Losses of the 8th & 9th Air Forces" Stan Bishop & John A. Hey MBE: added POW event per National Archives Records Administration (NARA) WWII POW database; COMBINED data from a duplicate entry from Paul Andrews Project Bits and Pieces.

Date Contributor Update
13 February 2015 20:15:23 Lee8thbuff Changes to service number, role, biography, awards, place associations, aircraft associations and mission associations
Sources

Lee Cunningham 13-Feb-2015. Added decorations and SN per 303rd Bomb Group website, historian Gary Moncur; made connections to Place, 3 Aircraft and 3 Missions within existing website data; crafted Biography based on "Losses of the 8th & 9th Air Forces" Stan Bishop & John A. Hey MBE.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:17:33 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / Roll of Honor, MACR 2908, Losses of the 8th & 9th Air Forces,

http://303rdbg.com/rost-kl.html#K

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