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Fiorino Anthony Cinquanta

Military

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.

Service

People

Units served with

  • 384th Bomb Group

    384th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 384th Bomb Group flew B-17s from Grafton Underwood, Northamptonshire, between May 1943 and June 1945. They were engaged in daylight bombing missions over Germany as part of the Allies' efforts to destroy the effectiveness of the Luftwaffe by...

  • 547th Bomb Squadron

Aircraft

  • 42-38013 "NEVADA AVENGER"

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 26/11/43; New Castle 10/12/43; Presque Is 15/12/43; Assigned 547BS/384BG [SO-C] Grafton Underwood 21/1/44; sal battle damaged 27/4/44. NEVADA AVENGER. ...

  • 44-6592 STARDUST

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Lincoln 16/9/44; Grenier 2/10/44; Assigned to the 547th Bomb Squadron, 384th Bomb Group [SO-S] Grafton Underwood 28 October 1944; Missing in Action on a mission to Berlin, 3 February 1945 with George F. Ruckman, Fiorino A. Cinquanta, John O....

Associated Place

  • Grafton Underwood

    Military site : airfield
    Grafton Underwood was built in 1941 by George Wimpey and Co. Ltd. It was the first airfield in England to receive an Eighth Air Force flying unit, when in May 1942 personnel of the 15th Bomb Squadron took up residence. As a satellite airfield for...

Events

Event Location Date
Born Ridgway, PA 7 December 1924

Son of Oliana Mary [Rocco] Cinquanta.

Enlisted Erie, PA 6 March 1943

Erie, Pennsylvania

Based Grafton Underwood December 1944 – February 1946

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

Landed behind Soviet lines Torun, Poland 3 February 1945
Died Moorpark, CA 1 October 2000
Buried 5 October 2000

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

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
19 July 2020 14:46:14 Al_Skiff Changes to nickname, highest rank, biography, awards, events, person associations, unit associations and place associations
Sources

https://www.fold3.com/image/312794214
https://www.fold3.com/image/541421706
https://www.fold3.com/record/87114001-fiorino-a-cinquanta
https://www.fold3.com/record/19975251-fiorino-a-cinquanta
https://www.fold3.com/record/619347698-fiorino-cinquanta-1924
https://www.fold3.com/record/714824126-cinquanta-fiorino-anthony
https://384thbombgroup.com/_content/_pages/person.php?PersonKey=7929
https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/5553394/fiorino-anthony-cinquanta

Date Contributor Update
07 March 2018 09:51:32 Lucy May Changes to biography, events and place associations
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.

Date Contributor Update
07 March 2018 08:34:27 Stardust daughter Changes to middlename, nickname and events
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.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:09:36 AAM AAM ingest
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

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