Fiorino Anthony Cinquanta

Military

Object Number - UPL 56801 - Fiorino Anthony Cinquanta

Assigned to 547BS, 384BG, 8AF USAAF. 3-Feb-45 B-17 44-6592 'Stardust' damaged by flak over Berlin. Pilot 2nd Lt. Ruckman flew damaged a/c behind Soviet lines and force landed at an airfield near Torun, Poland. Crew returned to duty in March 1945.

My father’s Italian born mother encouraged her sons to become pilots so that they wouldn’t die in the trenches during WWII. So my father lied about his age and enlisted in the Army Air Corps at age 17. He flew 17 missions over Berlin. However, on the first day of the Mission to Berlin, his B-17 “Stardust” was hit by flak and was forced to leave formation and managed to land behind enemy lines in Poland. He recalled that there were still hot meals left on camp stoves when they arrived, and eventually sharing vodka around a campfire in the cold with a few locals.

It took six weeks for the crew to scavenge parts from damaged and crashed enemy airplanes, but Stardust successfully flew again, returning to England via Italy, all crew members safe and onboard. My father completed 16 more missions. He continued his career as a pilot in the Army Reserves and retired as a Lt. Colonel. He began a second career as a Safety Officer for Hughes aircraft and enjoyed being a private pilot throughout his life.

This brave, modest, and wonderful man rests peacefully at Arlington National Cemetery, as of October, 2000. Thank you to the American Air Museum in Britain for honoring and saving the stories of these courageous and daring pilots. They really did make a difference.

Connections

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Units served with

The insignia of the 384th Bomb Group.
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment

People

  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 384th Bomb Group

Aircraft

  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: Nevada avenger
  • Unit: 384th Bomb Group 546th Bomb Squadron 547th Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: Stardust
  • Unit: 384th Bomb Group 547th Bomb Squadron

Places

Events

Event Location Date Description

Born

Ridgway, PA 1924-12-07 Son of Oliana Mary [Rocco] Cinquanta.

Other

Landed behind Soviet lines

Torun, Poland 1945-02-03

Buried

2000-10-05 Arlington National Cemetery Arlington, Virginia Plot: Columbarium Court 6, Section T, Column 4, Niche 2

Died

Moorpark, CA 2000-10-01

Based

Grafton Underwood Assigned to 547BS, 384BG, 8AF USAAF.

Enlisted

Erie, PA 1943-03-06 Erie, Pennsylvania

Revisions

Date7 Mar 2018 09:51:32
ContributorLucy May
Sources

Hi Toni - I have just moved you wonderful tribute to your dad into the main body of his record. Thank you so much for adding it to your father's record - it means a lot to us here when relatives take the time to do this.

Date7 Mar 2018 08:34:27
Sources

My father’s Italian born mother encouraged her sons to become pilots so that they wouldn’t die in the trenches during WW II. So my father lied about his age and enlisted in the Army Air Corps at age 17. He flew 17 missions over Berlin. However, on the first day of the Mission to Berlin, his B-17 “Stardust” was hit by flak and was forced to leave formation and managed to land behind enemy lines in Poland. He recalled that there were still hot meals left on camp stoves when they arrived, and eventually sharing vodka around a campfire in the cold with a few locals. It took six weeks for the crew to scavenge parts from damaged and crashed enemy airplanes, but Stardust successfully flew again, returning to England via Italy, all crew members safe and onboard. My father completed16 more missions. He continued his career as a pilot in the Army Reserves and retired as a Lt. Colonel. He began a second career as a Safety Officer for Hughes aaircraft and enjoyed being a private pilot throughout his life. This brave, modest, and wonderful man rests peacefully at Arlington National Cemetary, as of October, 2000. Thank you to the American Air Museum in Britain for honoring and saving the stories of these courageous and daring pilots. They really did make a difference.

Date27 Sep 2014 18:09:36
ContributorAAM
Sources

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / MACR 12154 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database

Fiorino Anthony Cinquanta: Gallery (1 items)