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Rocco Antonio Curelli

Military

Pilot 2ndLt. Rocco A. Curelli - KIA - Foggia, Italy
Hometown: Massachusetts
Squadron: 66th Bomb Squadron - 44th Bomb Group - 8th Air force
Service No. O-670981
Awards: Distinguished Flying Cross - Purple Heart
Lt. Rocco Antonio Curelli was assigned to the 8th Air Force, the 44th Bomb Group, and the 66th Bomb Squadron.

Lt. Curelli was killed flying his B-24D, Lady Luck, on a bombing attack on the Foggia airfields in Italy under temporarily deployment, TDY to the 9th Air Force. - SSgt. Harper Zoller was a gunner (KIA) on the Rocco Curelli crew, 66th Bomb Squadron. The plane was attacked by German fighters. It was hit by cannon fire, caught on fire, and exploded. The Radio Operator, SSgt. Wesley Zimmerman, was blown out of the airplane by the explosion. He was captured, escaped, and returned to Shipdham, U.K. All the others were killed in action (KIA) in the crash. This was the crew’s second mission. The MACR states - "Witnesses from a local village confirmed that the pilot, Lt. Rocco Curelli, was alive prior to Fallschirmjager's arrival. Shots were heard, after which he was seen dead, shot in the neck." - Killed in action in the B-24D, 41-23778, Lady Luck. 16 Aug 1943. 1 POW - 9 KIA - RTD. MACR 2141 - 3150

Service

People

  • Deforest Ela

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Radio Operator | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    Assigned to 66BS, 44BG, 8AF USAAF. Attack on Foggia airfields under TDY to the 9th AAF. KIA in 41-23778 'Lady Luck' Killed in Action (KIA). MACR 2141/3150 Awards: AM,PH.

  • John Grinde

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Flight Engineer | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    Assigned to 66BS, 44BG, 8AF USAAF. Attack on Foggia airfields under TDY to the 9th AAF. KIA in 41-23778 'Lady Luck' Killed in Action (KIA). MACR 2141/3150 Awards: PH.

  • John Hughes

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    Assigned to 66BS, 44BG, 8AF USAAF. Attack on Foggia airfields under TDY to the 9th AAF. POW in 41-23778 'Lady Luck' Killed in Action (KIA). MACR 2141/3150 Awards: PH.

  • John Papadopulos

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    Assigned to 66BS, 44BG, 8AF USAAF. TDY 9AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) attack on Foggia airfields in B-24 41-23778 'Lady Luck'. Killed in Action (KIA) MACR 2141/3150 Awards: AM, PH.

  • Walter Rossi

    Military | Second Lieutenant | B-24 Navigator | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    Assigned to the66th Bomb Squadron, the 44th Bomb Group, in the 8th Air Force, USAAF. Attacked the German airfields at Foggia, Italy, in, the B-24D, Lady Luck, on TDY to the 9th Air Force. POW in the B-24D, 41-23778, Lady Luck. Killed in Action (KIA)....

  • Raymond Shafer

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Assistant Engineer | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    Assigned to 66BS, 44BG, 8AF USAAF. Attack on Foggia airfields under TDY to the 9th AAF. POW in 41-23778 'Lady Luck' Killed in Action (KIA). MACR 2141/3150 Awards: PH.

  • Victor Turrou

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Bombardier | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    Assigned to 66BS, 44BG, 8AF USAAF. Attack on Foggia airfields under TDY to the 9th AAF. KIA in 41-23778 'Lady Luck' Killed in Action (KIA). MACR 2141/3150 Awards: PH.

  • Wesley Zimmerman

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio Operator | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    Assigned to 66BS, 44BG, 8AF USAAF. Attack on Foggia airfields under TDY to the 9th AAF. POW in 41-23778 'Lady Luck' Prisoner of War (POW). MACR 2141/3150 Escaped from camp to return 29 OCT 1943 Awards: WWII Victory, EAME, POW.

  • Harper Zoller

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Gunner | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    Assigned to 66BS, 44BG, 8AF USAAF. Attack on Foggia airfields under TDY to the 9th AAF. POW in 41-23778 'Lady Luck' Killed in Action (KIA). MACR 2141/3150 Awards: PH.

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Units served with

  • 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs

    44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs

    Group
    The 44th Bombardment Group (Heavy) was activated 15-January-1942 at McDill Field, Florida and equipped with B-24Cs. The Group moved to Barksdale Field, Louisiana and acted as a training unit for the 90th 93rd and 98th Bomb Groups and flew anti...

  • 66th Bomb Squadron

Aircraft

  • 41-23778 - Jenny - Lady Luck

    B-24 Liberator
    The B-24D Liberator bomber, 41-23778, was, first, named, Jenny. when it was in the 8th Air Force, the 44th Bomb Group, and the 66th Bombing Squadron in Britain, in 1942. It was temporarily detached (TDY) to the 9th Air Force and sent to Benghazi, Libya...

Missions

  • Operation Tidal Wave

    1 August 1943
    Operation TIDAL WAVE. B-24D Liberators attack the oil refineries at Ploesti, Romania. The bombers flew low to avoid radar detection and dropped time delayed bombs. Out of the 177 B-24s that took part in the raid 167 managed to attack their targets. 57...

Associated Place

  • Shipdham

    Military site : airfield
    Shipdham was built in 1941-1942, the first US heavy bomber airfield in the English county of Norfolk. It was a standard design, with T2-type hangars and a domestic site dispersed to the south east. Improvements were carried out to increase the number...

  • Berca

    Military site : airfield

Events

Event Location Date
Born Boston, MA 8 May 1919

Son of Biagio and Fausta Curelli. Brother to Rudolph, Ubaldo and Gloria.

Lived in Biddeford, MN 1942

Biddeford, Minneapolis

Enlisted Boston, MA 19 March 1942

Boston, Massachusetts

Based 1943 – 16 August 1943

Assigned to the 66th Bomb Squadron, the 44th Bomb Group, 8th Air Force. USAAF.

Died Ruoti, Italy 16 August 1943

Shot down and killed in action (KIA)in the B-24D, 41-23778, Lady Luck, on a mission over Foggia, Italy. 16 Aug 1943. MACR 2141-3150

Buried Sicily-Rome American Cemetery and Memorial 1948

Re-Interred
Sicily-Rome American Cemetery and Memorial
Nettuno, Italy
Plot J Row 5 Grave 63

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
02 January 2022 23:47:25 Kickapoo Changes to nickname, awards, events, place associations and mission associations
Sources

Best Web - B-24 - 41-23778 - Lady Luck - Jenny

Date Contributor Update
02 January 2022 23:41:45 Kickapoo Changes to biography and events
Sources

Best Web - B-24 - 41-23778 - Lady Luck - ( formerly Jenny )

Date Contributor Update
04 March 2021 17:30:53 Al_Skiff Changes to events
Sources

https://www.fold3.com/image/24083175

Date Contributor Update
04 March 2021 12:38:36 Al_Skiff Changes to biography, events and place associations
Sources

https://www.ccgfuneralhome.com/obit/rudolph-a.-curelli
https://www.ancestry.com/1940-census/usa/Massachusetts/Rudolph-Curelli_3...
https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/194693867/rudolph-a.-curelli
https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/56307879/rocco-a.-curelli

Date Contributor Update
03 March 2021 20:51:30 Kickapoo Changes to biography and place associations
Sources

FindAGrave.com - Memorial 56307879 - Rocco Antonio Curelli

Date Contributor Update
25 February 2021 09:22:33 Al_Skiff Changes to biography and events
Sources

https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/56307879/rocco-antonio-curelli
Removed # from A/C serial No. to aid clarity and consistency

Date Contributor Update
22 February 2021 01:48:29 Kickapoo Changes to role and biography
Sources

FindAGrave - Lt. Rocco A. Curelli

Date Contributor Update
22 February 2021 01:41:35 Kickapoo Changes to biography
Sources

44th Bomb Group's Association

Date Contributor Update
22 February 2021 01:28:59 Kickapoo Changes to biography
Sources

MACR 2141/3150

Date Contributor Update
22 February 2021 01:25:14 Kickapoo Changes to biography
Sources

MACR 2141/3150

Date Contributor Update
22 December 2020 10:29:16 Al_Skiff Changes to middlename, service number, biography, awards, events, person associations and unit associations
Sources

https://www.fold3.com/image/28598789
https://www.fold3.com/image/310763403
https://www.fold3.com/record/83396227/world-war-ii-army-enlistment-recor...
https://militaryhallofhonor.com/honoree-record.php?id=201083
https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/56307879/rocco-a.-curelli

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:24:19 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

44th BG Roll of Honor/MACR3150; 44th Bomb Group, The Flying Eightballs, pg 21 / Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia

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