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S/SGT  John RUPNICK

UNIT: 351st BOMB Sqdn POSITION: WG
SERIAL #: 13132363 STATUS: KIA
MACR: 04866 CR: 04866

Comments1: 11 MAY 44 LEIGE, BELGUIM (FLAK)

COMMENTS & NOTES

MEMO 1:

CREW

2nd Lt Maurice E. Beatty          P    KIA    10/10/43   MUNSTER
2nd Lt James B.Dabney,Jr.      CP   POW    10/10/43   MUNSTER
2nd Lt Grady Moyle             NAV   KIA     10/10/43   MUNSTER
2nd Lt Reid E.Griffiths         BOM     KIA     10/10/43   MUNSTER
 T/Sgt Alfred Loguidice     ROG   KIA     10/10/43   MUNSTER
 T/Sgt George C.Burgess     TTE   KIA     10/10/43   MUNSTER
 SJSgt Miorton Levine        BTG   KIA     10/10/43  MUNSTER
 S/Sgt Angelo J.Licato      RWG   KIA     10/10/43  MUNSTER
 S/Sgt Edward C.Karamol    LWG   POW     10/10/43   MUNSTER
 S/Sgt John Rupnick           TG   KIA       11/05/44   LUDWIGSHAVEN, MY (S.T.) with Lt Jack Hunter Crew 

351st Sqdn. This crew joined 100th Group on 6/9/43  

On 10/10/43, Sgt John Rupnick was replaced by Sgt.Smith J.Young who was KIA. Young was an original member of the crew of V.E.Fienup.
This crew,on its tenth mission,was leading the 2nd flight of the low squadron. From Dabney's statement,it appears that the plane exploded; he says  "S/Sgt.Karamol was blown out of the ship like myself while at his position as waist gunner."  German document says place of crash was "Vynen near Xanten" at 15.15 hours.

S.J.Young's body was recovered from the Waal river near Arnhem in Holland the next day. A.J.Licato's body was also found the next day in Dutch waters.  All those killed, except for Young were buried on 13 Oct 1943 at Muenchen-Gladbach Cementary in graves 349 - 355. 

According to a letter of 11/11/85 from William Rupnick,brother of John Rupnick, John was wounded on the Bremen raid of 8/10/43 and hospitalized for several months thus he was not with his crew when it was lost.  John Rupnick was flying with the crew of Lt. Jack Hunter on May 11, 1945 when he was KIA.  

Micro fiche #340  MACR # 1026
A/C #42-30087 "SHACKRAT"

MISSIONS OF LT MAURICE BEATTY

1.   16/09/43   BORDEAUX           A/C 42-30087  "SHACK RAT"
2.   23/09/43   VANNES              A/C  42-30087  "SHACK RAT"
3.   26/09/43   PARIS                 A/C  42-3386    "MARIE HELENA"
4.   27/09/43   EMDEN                A/C 42-30087   "SHACK RAT"
5.   02/10/43   EMDEN                A/C 42-30087   "SHACK RAT"
6.   04/10/43   HANAU               A/C  42-30796   "SUNNY II"
7.   08/10/43   BREMEN              A/C  42-3474     "KING BEE"
8.   09/10/43   MARIENBURG       A/C  42-30723   "HOLY TERROR"
9.   10/10/10   MUNSTER            A/C  42-30087   "SHACK RAT"   SHOT DOWN 

According to a letter of 11/11/85 from William Rupnick,brother of John Rupnick, John was wounded on the Bremen raid of 8/10/43 and hospitalized for several months thus he was not with his crew when it was lost. John also states that his brother went down on in A/C 42-39983 and calls her  "Katie II" vs "Katie" as it is listed in Andrews bits and Pieces.   

CREW

2nd Lt Jack Hunter                    P   KIA     11/5/44  LIEGE, BELGIUM
2nd Lt George W.Shoesmith     CP   KIA     11/5/44  LIEGE, BELGIUM 
2nd Lt Richard J.Heh          NAV    POW   11/5/44  LIEGE, BELGIUM
 2nd Lt Murray J.Lirette      BOM    POW   11/5/44  LIEGE, BELGIUM 
S/Sgt Spiro Lecouras             R0G    KIA     11/5/44 LIEGE, BELGIUM
S/Sgt Arthur L.Wellingham     TTE    KIA     11/5/44  LIEGE, BELGIUM
Sgt Ernest D.Medhurst        BTG    CPT       6/10/44  BERLIN                  
Sgt Robert H.Kuehl              LWG    KIA        11/5/44  LIEGE, BELGIUM
 Sgt Samuel J.Martiello        RWG    WIA        8/5/44  LaGLACERIE
 Sgt Herbert S.South            TG    POW   11/5/44  LIEGE, BELGIUM 

FLEW A/C 42-39983 "KATIE"

351st Sqdn. Crew,as above,joined the 100th Group on 5/4/44. On 11/5/44,S/Sgts Charley L.Anglin,BTG and John Rupnick,RWG,were flying in place of Martiello & Medhurst and both were KIA. Both Anglin & Rupnick were listed  on the crew of R.V.E. Monrad on 8/3/44.Rupnick was originally on the M.E.Beatty crew when it  joined the 100th on 6/9/43. Immediately after bombs were released,A/C received a direct flak hit in wing at #1 engine. Part of wing blown off & A/C went down in flaming spin. Heh,Lirette and South were blown out of A/C. South suffered a compound fracture of a leg when blown from a/c.

Martiello wounded in the "seat" on 8/5/44 (according to diary entry of Wellingham. See letter from E.D.Medhurst dated Dec.1986. Welllngham kept journal of missions from 12/4/44 to 8/5/44. He was killed on next mission on 11/5/44.  

EYEWITNESS "Our A/C #983 received a direct hit from flak in the wing at the No#1 engine. A few seconds after bombs away. Part of the wing was shot off and the A/C went down in a flaming spin, hitting near marshalling yards and exploded. Two (2) chutes were seen"  The author of this eyewitness report is not listed in the MACR…jb

Statement by Lt Richard J. Heh:     "The plane received a direct hit by flak whick knocked off part of the right wing and set fire to the plane. The plane started spinning and the centrifugal force was so great I could not move to bail out. After a few seconds the gas tanks exploded and blew the  bombardier and myself out of the plane. (We had already dropped our bombs) I later met the tail gunner, Herbert South, on the ground who altough injuried bailed out himself. As for the other men I have no knowledge regarding their distiny. I had no contact with the missing men after the plane was hit. I never regained conciousness until I fell through the air about 10,000 feet."  In a later statement Heh mentions Herbert South had sustained a compond fracture of a leg before he bailed out.


German Reports:  Notes Lt Murray Lirette committed to the hospital on 13 May 1944 and states the dead buried at the Luffwaffe Cementary at Trond air base.

Date Crew Nbr Mission Nbr Last Name Initial Rank Position Aircraft Nbr Target
5/7/1944 25 111 HUNTER J. LT P 39983 BERLIN
5/8/1944 25 112 HUNTER J. LT P 39983 BERLIN & LAGLACERIE
5/8/1944 25 112 HUNTER J. LT P 39983 BERLIN & LAGLACERIE
5/11/1944 25 115 HUNTER J. LT P 39983 LIEGE

MEMO 2:

KIA / MIA / EVA / INT INFORMATION:

TARGET: Leige DATE: 1944-05-11  
AIRCRAFT: "Katie" (42-40056) CAUSE: FLAK - Explosion  

BURIAL INFORMATION

PLOT: A ROW: 25  
GRAVE: 12 CEMETERY: Ardennes, Neuville-en-Cond, Belgium  
ID: 4527