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James R Fink

Military

Schweinfurt, Remagen 'Shuffling the deck'

Air Medal w/5 Oak Leaf Cluster, American Campaign Medal/EAME Campaign Medal, WW II Victory Medal

Service

People

  • Joseph Polinski

    Military | Staff Sergeant (3rd Grade) | B-17 Right Waist Gunner | 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars

Units served with

  • 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars

    91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars

    Group
    The 91st Bombardment Group (Heavy) was activated at Harding Field, Louisiana on 15-April-1942 and went to MacDill Field, Florida for the first phase of training from 16-May-1942 to 25-June-1942. The Group was then assigned to 2nd Air Force at Walla...

  • 322nd Bomb Squadron

Aircraft

  • 42-31333 'Wee Willie'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 22/10/43; Gr Island 3/11/43; Memphis 9/11/43; Assigned 322BS/91BG [LG-W] Bassingbourn 20/12/43; Missing in Action 129m Stendahl 8/4/45 with 1Lt Robert E Fuller (POW), 2Lt Woodrow A Lien, T/Sgt Francis McCarthy, S/Sgt Richard D...

Associated Place

Events

Event Location Date
Born Bellefonte, Pennsylvania 31 January 1924
Enlisted 30 November 1942

James was in service from November 30, 1942, to October 13, 1946.

Died 10 October 2003
Missions/Service

He flew 35 bombing missions over Germany as an Army Air Forces lieutenant with the 322nd Squadron of the 91st Bombardment Group based in Bassingbourn, England. Those missions included historic raids over Schweinfurt's defense plants and Remagen, the heavily defended bridge that finally fell in 1945. Normally, if a pilot or crew member of a bomber aircraft survived 25 missions, they were rotated home to serve as flight or gunner instructors. But later in the war, the number of forays was extended because of high combat and accident losses among their number. Carrying a different crew in April 1945, Wee Willie was hit by German flak and fighters and crashed on the plane's 128th mission, the next-to-last B-17 to be lost in the war from James' bomb group, historical records show.

Buried Timonium, Maryland

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
06 September 2020 03:09:58 Hannah08 Changes to events
Sources

Accounts from himself, his records, and 2003 obituary.

Date Contributor Update
06 September 2020 02:49:29 Hannah08 Changes to nickname, events and aircraft associations
Sources

Edited by James' granddaughter

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:14:51 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / self/relative

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