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S/SGT  Henry T. POPIELARSKI

UNIT: 349th BOMB Sqdn POSITION: WG
SERIAL #: 36501395 STATUS: POW
MACR: 00953 CR: 00953

Comments1: 8 OCT 43 BREMEN (EAC)

COMMENTS & NOTES

MEMO 1:

CREW

2nd Lt Arthur H.Becktoft           P  POW         8/10/43  Bremen
2nd Lt Clifford M.Spencer          CP  POW        8/10/43  Bremen
2nd Lt Wayne A. Fuess           NAV   NOC                      (original Navigator on Crew)  
2nd Lt Walter Nichols,Jr.         NAV  POW   8/10/43 (from crew of Lt John Gossage)
2nd Lt Robert L.Miller             BOM  POW   8/10/43 Bremen
 T/Sgt Elmer J.Williams            TTE  POW   8/10/43 Bremen
 T/Sgt Floyd A.Lowe               ROG  KIA    8/10/43 Bremen
 S/Sgt Charles E.Marengo        BTG  POW   8/10/43 Bremen
 S/Sgt Henry T.Popielarski         WG  POW   8/10/43  MACR#42 30154 
 S/Sgt John P. Wargo               WG   CPT         6/18/44  BRUNSBUTTELKOOG
' S/Sgt Andy P.Stanley               TG  POW    8/10/43

349th Sqdn.  A/C 42-30154 "War Eagle" XR-H Crew joined the 100th in Sept 3, 1943

This was the 6th or 7th mission for this crew except for  Sgt.Hoffman (Edward J. Hoffman, Jr. was on his first mission, he had been a member of the quartermaster unit, but insisted on volunteering as a gunner)who was a replacement on this mission. He replaced John P. Wargo.  Plane was flying #3 in third element of the high squadron. Had released bombs on target when it was apparently attacked. Floyd Lowe hit between shoulder blades by a 20mm probably died instantly. All others bailed out and were immediately picked up by the Germans.

Letter (29/3/84) from C.E.Marengo indicates that his crew joined the 100th in Sept 1943. Sgt.  John P. Wargo was their regular WG but replaced by Hoffman on 8/10/43. Wargo CT on 18/6/44. Cliff Spencer died  1983 in CA of cancer. Lost track of other crew members. Says Nichols may have been a "new" navigator on crew.

Of the 8 OCT 43 mission Marengo has this to say: "We were hit by ME 109s out of the sun. One took part of our tail off and hit #3 engine which burned. I called the pilot and advised him of the fire, but nothing was done. When the fire burned through the wing and they saw it they dove the plane to put out the fire. Part of the tail came off and we went into a spin. the order to b ail out was given and I got out the ball and started for the door. then went back for my chest pack. Plane was nose down when I went out hooking the right chute clasp as I went. There was a waist gunner still near his gun when I left. I had never worn the harness before as I had swapped mine (which was too big) with another guy the day before, his was too small. Fate is I wore the smaller harness and am still alive. Floyd Lowe was hit  in the back with a 20mm during the attack and was gone. The co-pilot was the stick that fateful day and two 17s were knocked out ahead of us and one exploded - left nothing but dust ..."

MEMO 2:

Mission List for WAR EAGLE XR-H  and Lt Arthur Becktoft Crew

September 3, 1943, Becktoft Crew arrives at Thorpe Abbotts
10-14 days of Orientation Missions around England

Date & Target:                     Aircraft:                Status              Crew
6/9/1943   Stuttgart          War Eagle XR-H     REM            UNK
7/9/1943   Watton            War Eagle XR-H     P                  UNK
9/9/1943   Beauvais AF     War Eagle XR-H    P                  UNK
15/9/1943 Paris                  War Eagle XR-H    P                Lt Arthur Becktoft      
16/9/1943  La Pallice         War Eagle XR-H    P                Lt Arthur Becktoft      
23/9/1943  Vannes AF       War Eagle XR-H   REM           Lt Arthur Becktoft      
27/9/1943  Emden             War Eagle XR-H   P                Lt Arthur Becktoft      
2/10/1943  Emden             War Eagle XR-H   P                Lt Arthur Becktoft      
4/10/1943  Hanau              War Eagle XR-H   P                Lt Arthur Becktoft      
8/10/1943  Bremen           War Eagle XR-H   FTR            Lt Arthur Becktoft      

KIA / MIA / EVA / INT INFORMATION:

TARGET: Bremen DATE: 1943-10-08  
AIRCRAFT: "War Eagle" (42-30154) CAUSE: EAC  

BURIAL INFORMATION

PLOT: ROW:  
GRAVE: CEMETERY:  
ID: 4177