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Theodore Zivanidis


Theodore 'Ted' Zivanidis was the eldest of three children born to Greek immigrants, Athanasious 'Thanos or Thomas' Zivanidis and Elizabeth (Krettecos) Zivanidis. Ted's father and his maternal uncle, James Krettecos co-owned and operated an Altoona, PA, restaurant at the time of Ted's birth. Later, Ted's family moved to Buffalo, New York. Following the death of Ted’s mother Elizabeth Kritikos Zivanidis he was sent to live with his maternal Uncle James Krettecos. Ted grew up with his cousins George, Harry, Christ & Mary. In fact George Krettecos names his son after Ted. He was name Theodore James Krettecos. The Krettecos cousins loved Ted like a brother. Ted never married and has no known direct descendants.

On 15 Nov 1939, Ted enlisted in the New York National Guard and served honorable for at least two years in Battery F of the 244th Coastal Artillery. He received an honorably discharge from the New York National Guard on 18 Mar 1944 and accepted a US Army Air Corps officer's appointment.

Ted served as the Bombardier on the B-17G, #446140 'Miss Lace,' on 30 Nov 1944 when it encountered heavy flak over the target, the Brabag Synthetic Oil Plant just northeast of Zeitz, Germany. After a near explosion of flak, the plane lost its right wing and entered a vertical spiral while ablaze. It broke into two sections: the tail/waist section, which landed near Threna, Germany, and the nose section, which crashed into District 7 of the Oberholz Forest near Großpösna, Germany.

German citizens recovered partial and complete human remains and military identification tags for Ted and other crew members seated in the nose section of the plane in the forest debris field. The citizens of Großpösna placed five sets of remains in individual coffins, which were buried in their town cemetery. The US Army exhumed these sets of remains in late June 1945. Remains for Theodore 'Ted' Zivanidis were not identified from the remains recovered at that time. His death was confirmed solely through the German action of retrieving his dog tag in the Oberholz Forest. The status of his remains currently remains "unrecoverable."

Killed in Action -- 30 Nov 1944 -- unrecovered remains



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Units served with

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    379th Bomb Group

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  • 527th Bomb Squadron


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    B-17 Flying Fortress
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Associated Place

  • Kimbolton

    Military site : airfield
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Event Location Date
Born Altoona, PA, USA 28 November 1917
Buried Großpösna, Germany 1944

Commemorative marker at Tablets of the Missing, Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery, Arrondissement de Verviers, Liège, Belgium

Died Großpösna, Germany 30 November 1944


Date Contributor Update
29 January 2022 18:29:50 kathrynlkovacs22 Changes to biography

I am related to Theodore Zivanidis. Mary Krettecos was my husband’s mother. James Krettecos was my husband’s grandfather.

Date Contributor Update
02 March 2017 22:33:20 lorelei1026 Changes to biography and events

Individual Deceased Personnel File for Theodore Zivanidis; Missing Air Crew Report #11126; German "Report of Downed Enemy Aircraft, KU-3401;" research of Janine Hunter, Reagan, TN.

Date Contributor Update
02 March 2017 19:47:05 lorelei1026 Changes to biography, awards, events and person associations

Individual Deceased Personnel File for Theodore Zivanidis; Missing Aircrew Report #11126; research of Janine Hunter, Reagan, TN.

Date Contributor Update
02 March 2017 09:58:09 Lucy May Changes to surname, nickname, service number, awards, events and place associations

Brought in information from duplicate record. Source:
MACR 11126 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:25:39 AAM AAM ingest

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / MACR 11126; 379th Bombardment Group Anthology, pg 326