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T/SGT  Charles P. COREA

UNIT: 349th BOMB Sqdn POSITION: TTE
SERIAL #: 32144962 STATUS: POW
MACR: 03018 CR: 03018

Comments1: 6 MAR 44 BERLIN ( Crew was on 4th Mission)

COMMENTS & NOTES

MEMO 1:

CREW


6 March 1944      349th Sqdn   A/C #42-31051 "Goin Jessies"

TARGET: BERLIN  Source: Film Causalty Report
  MACR #3016

Lt. Robert C.Koper            P    KIA
Lt. Gordon C.Lien             CP   POW
Lt. George H.Wing          NAV  KIA
Lt. Thomas O.Drinkwater BOM  POW
S/S Michael J.Tanowigch  ROG  KIA
Sgt Charles P.Corea         TTE  POW
Sgt Charles J.Luquette     BTG  KIA
Sgt Bernard Sundin           TG   KIA Low group in wing
Sgt Arthur Frankel           LWG  KIA
Sgt Ralph V. Zarzecki       RWG  KIA

When this crew joined the 100th GP, the Radio operator was Sgt Weston H, Rodkey. S/Sgt. Mike Tanowigch who was flying in place of Rodkey on 6/3/43 had flown overseas with Crew #4 piloted by Sam L.Barr. Except for Tanowigch, the crew was flying its 5th mission having joined the 100th BG, 349th BS on  24/2/44.  S/Sgt Rodkey was shot down with the Crew of F.W. Harte on 22/4/44 and became a POW. 

An eyewitness report stated as follows: "At 1213 hours just north of Hanover an A/C which may have been #051 was attacked by enemy fighters and was shot down.Four or five chutes were seen. Identity of this A/C  not deflnite. It may have been confused with A/C #170."

"THE STORY OF THE CENTURY" on p.44 states: "Bob Koper ordered his crew to 'bail' and was alone in his ship when it blew up."

Missions flown by Lt Koper Crew

1.    28/02/44    REGENSBURG
2.    29/02/44    BRUNSWICK
3.     2/03/44    CHARTES
4.     3/03/44    BERLIN
5.     6/03/44    BERLIN (SHOT DOWN)

100th Bomb Group - March 6, 1944 Berlin Mission
Recollection of Charles Corea, Tech Sergeant, Engineer Gunner
349th SQN Koper Crew (Pilot)
 
Awake 4 am breakfast
6 - 7 am briefing of mission to Berlin
Flying with 351 SQN
Left Coast (English Channel) in am
Test fired top turret guns over channel
Climbed to 21,000 FT, 50 degrees below zero
Scanning skies behind plane
Caught flash from waist gunner, upper SQN
 
Rotated turret - began firing at ME109 as he passed to my right,
Point blank, hit his tail section - as he made 180 degree turn - he banked off my right wing.
So close that we looked at each other plainly, while I was turning my guns towards him.
Before I could fire, my turret jammed, my electrical cord for my heated suit got twisted around base of my turret.
I stepped down to untangle the cord, saw a fire near gyro equipment - put fire out.
Back in turret- only to find it hit by 20mm shell and dome gone!
By this time, front of plane had also been hit.
Navigator seriously wounded, Bombardier (Drinkwater) asked what to do.
I told him to bailout.
Fortunately, he did, while still in level flight.
We were again hit and went into a spinning dive.
I grabbed my chute, kneeling in front of the hatch.
It took me almost 20,000 ft to clip my chest pack and go out head first towards #2 prop. Which hit my right foot.  I was so close to the ground that I never saw the ground or chute open before landing.
My co-pilot (Lein) landed close by and helped tie a tourniquet on my leg.  I was bleeding profusely.
We went inside a nearby farm house, placed my leg on the back of a ladder back chair, high above my head to stop the bleeding.
It worked.
Two German soldiers soon arrived.
One sprinkled my foot with sulfa powder, that he had taken from my chute harness.
Lein and I, were driven to the first aid station.  Toes severed, taken to hospital, operated on by two surgeons, both graduates of Heidelberg Medical School.  
Spent 6 - 7 weeks in hospital bed before being sent to Frankfurt for interrogation and then to Stalag 17B, Krems, Austria until end of war.

MEMO 2:

KIA / MIA / EVA / INT INFORMATION:

TARGET: Berlin DATE: 1944-03-06  
AIRCRAFT: "Goin Jessies" (42-31051) CAUSE: EAC-Explosion  

BURIAL INFORMATION

PLOT: ROW:  
GRAVE: CEMETERY:  

PHOTOS:

Charles P. Corea Family.  From Nancy Corea Sherman, Happy Sibling Day to Carey, Debi and Doug (Photo sent in by Volker Urbansky)

 Robert C. Koper, center, with Wes Rodkey far right and Charles P. Corea far left. Crew flew "GOIN' JESSIES" Detailed Information Photo courtesy of Robert C. Koper, Jr. 

 

SERVED IN:

Crew 1

ID: 1022