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Charles Joseph Kukawski

Military

Assigned to 524BS, 379BG, 8AF USAAF. 13 x combat missions. Failed to Return (FTR) Le Bourget in B-17 42-29866; Shot down by flak 16-Aug-43. After he was shot down, lived with about 90 different families before he was captured. Prisoner of War (POW). MACR 1352.

Awards: AM (2 OLC), PH, POW, WWII Victory, EAME.

Service

People

  • Charles Bigler

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 379th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 524BS, 379BG, 8AF USAAF. 14 x combat missions. Co-pilot of B-17 42-29866 'Judy B' on Hamburg mission, when pilot Lt Willis C Carlisle was killed at controls. A/C fought off fighters whilst in uncontrolled plunge from 16,000ft to 3,500ft 25...

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Units served with

  • 379th Bomb Group

    379th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 379th Bomb Group (H) (heavy), based at Kimbolton, flew more sorties than any other Bomb Group in the Eighth Air Force and dropped a greater bomb tonnage than any other Group. The B-17 Flying Fortress Group was awarded two Distinguished Unit...

  • 524th Bomb Squadron

Aircraft

  • 42-29830 'Peter Wabbit'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 23/2/43; Sioux City 20/3/43; Kearney 8/4/43; Dow Fd 15/4/43; Assigned 525BS/379BG [FR-A] Kimbolton; then 524BS [WA-T]; Missing in Action Schweinfurt 17/8/43 with Erwalt Wagner, Co-pilot: Bill Barnard, Navigator: Joe Hilderbrand,...

  • 42-29866 'Judy B'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 27/2/43; Sioux City 16/3/43; Kearney 8/4/43; Dow Fd 15/4/43; Assigned 524BS/379BG [WA-L] Kimbolton 21/4/43; Missing in Action Le Bourget 16/8/43 with Chas Biglar, Bombardier: John Boyle, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Albt Tyler,...

  • 42-29898 Scarlett O'Hara

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 4/3/43; Sioux City 19/3/43; Kearney 8/4/43; Bangor 13/4/43; Assigned 524BS/379BG [WA-K/I] Kimbolton 22/4/43; Missing in Action Bochum 12/8/43 with Ralph Osborne, Radio Operator: Mildred Fambrough, Ball turret gunner: Larry Truman,...

  • 42-30158 'MARY JANE II'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 20/4/43; Tinker 28/4/43; New Castle 29/4/43; Assigned 525BS/379BG [FR-X] Kimbolton 23/6/43; Missing in Action Schweinfurt 17/8/43 with Howie Koeppen, Waist gunner: Jack Posemsky (2 Killed in Action), Co-pilot: Harry Thomkpson,...

  • 42-3056

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 18/1/43; Assigned 527BS/379BG [FO-R] Presque Is 29/4/43; Kimbolton 26/6/43; Missing in Action Anklam 14/10/43 with Matt Zack (524BS crew), Co-pilot: Fritz Minder, Navigator: George Lemen, Bombardier: John Vournakis, Flight engineer/top...

  • 42-3175 'THE HA'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 10/3/43; Dow Fd 15/4/43; Assigned 95BG 22/4/43; 3m, transferred 524BS/379BG [WA-T] Kimbolton 22/6/43; Missing in Action Hamburg 25/7/43 with Frank Hildebradt, Co-pilot: Don Rogers, Navigator: Leon Baxter, Bombardier: Albt Johnson,...

  • 42-3258

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 13/4/43; Bangor 31/5/43; Assigned 527BS/379BG [FO-T] Kimbolton 11/6/43; Missing in Action Bremen 8/10/43 with Bill Hickey, Co-pilot: Bill Isengard, Navigator: Pasquale Natale, Bombardier: Jim Cudworth, Flight engineer/top turret...

  • 42-3325 'Paddy Gremlin'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 7/5/43; Dow Fd 30/5/43; Assigned 524BS/379BG [WA-Y] Kimbolton 1/6/43; Missing in Action Brunswick 30/1/44 with Ken Davis, Co-pilot: Chas Fowler, Navigator: Paul Clark, Bombardier: Stan Dolgin, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Alex...

Missions

  • VIII Bomber Command 83

    16 August 1943
    This mission consists of two elements of B-17s despatched to bomb the German airfields of Le Bourget (Paris), Poix and Abbeville, France. The first element is a combined force of 180 B-17s from: 91BG (21); 92BG (17); 303BG (20); 305BG (20); 306BG (20);...

Associated Place

  • Kimbolton

    Military site : airfield
    Planned for RAF use, Kimbolton airfield was built by W and C French Ltd. in 1941. The airfield was increased in size to accommodate a full US heavy Bomb Group, and the first such unit to us it was the 91st Bomb Group, who arrived in September 1942....

  • Stalag Luft IV

    Other location

  • Dulag Luft 12

    Other location

Events

Event Location Date
Born Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA 2 October 1922

Son of Evelyn Jane Kukawski.

Enlisted Kalamazoo, MI 4 July 1942

Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Based Kimbolton 1943 – 16 August 1943

Assigned to 524BS, 379BG, 8AF USAAF.

Baled out EVD / POW Le Bourget, FR 16 August 1943

Failed to Return (FTR) Le Bourget in B-17 42-29866; Shot down by flak 16-Aug-43. After he was shot down, lived with about 90 different families before he was captured. POW MACR 1352

Prisoner of War (POW) Tychowo, Poland 16 August 1943 – May 1945

Prisoner of War (POW). Stalag Luft IV.

Discharged USAAF 26 September 1945

Honourable discharge.

Enlisted 24 September 1947

Enlisted USAF.

Discharged USAF 1 July 1949

Honourable discharge.

Died Grand Rapids, MI 1 November 2000
Buried Holy Cross Cemetery, Grand Rapid, MI 5 November 2000

Holy Cross Cemetery,
Grand Rapid, Michigan

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
11 May 2021 07:51:28 Al_Skiff Changes to biography and events
Sources

https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/131904918/charles-kukawski

Date Contributor Update
10 May 2021 21:53:18 jmoore43 Changes to biography
Sources

Added punctuation in the "Summary biography" to aid clarity.

Date Contributor Update
04 August 2019 17:28:56 Al_Skiff Changes to middlename, biography, awards, events, unit associations, place associations, aircraft associations and mission associations
Sources

https://www.fold3.com/image/28693474
https://www.fold3.com/image/661654292
https://www.fold3.com/record/44022528-charles-j-kukawski
https://www.fold3.com/record/623596205-charles-kukawski-1922
http://8thairforce.com/members/missionsflownby.asp?perIdentification=2602
https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/131904918/charles-kukawski#add-to-vc

Date Contributor Update
16 July 2019 20:27:30 Al_Skiff Changes to events
Sources

Key Image ID.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:05:45 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / MACR 1352 / MACR 1352/wife / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database

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