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LT  Emanuel A. CASSIMATIS

UNIT: 418th BOMB Sqdn POSITION: NAV
SERIAL #: O-732702 STATUS: POW
MACR: 00688 CR: 00688

Comments1: 6 SEP 43 STUTTGART "MANNY" (Original 100th, Crew #33)

COMMENTS & NOTES

MEMO 1:

CREW
               1ST LT EDGAR F. WOODWARD, JR.

CREW #33   A/C #42-5860 "Escape Kit"                  MACR #688

1ST LT  EDGAR WOODWARD, JR               P; INT      6 SEP 43 STUTTGART
F/O     JOHN H., THOMPSON                    CP; POW   6 SEP 43 STUTTGART
2ND LT  EMANUEL A. CASSIMATIS          NAV; POW   6 SEP 43 STUTTGART
2ND LT  ROBERT E. DIBBLE                    BOM; KIA   15 AUG 43 MERVILLE AF (killed by Flak)
S/SGT   FRANK DANELLA                       TTE; POW   6 SEP 43 STUTTGART
T/SGT   MELVIN E. GAIDE                     ROG; POW    6 SEP 43 STUTTGART
S/SGT   CHARLES J. GRIFFIN                  WG; POW     6 SEP 43 STUTTGART    
S/SGT   GEORGE A. JANOS                   BTG; POW     6 SEP 43 STUTTGART
S/SGT   WILLIAM D. BROOKS                 TG; POW     6 SEP 43 STUTTGART
S/SGT   DONALD H. FLETCHER              WG; POW      6 SEP 43 STUTTGART

NOTES:  THIS IS AN "ORIGINAL CREW" OF THE 100TH BOMB GROUP.

ON 6 SEP 43, LT PAUL L. ENGLERT WHOSE CREW (#30 Lt William Flesh) WAS LOST ON THE 17 AUG 43 REGENSBURG MISSION AS BOMBARDIER AND BECAME A POW.

Crew #33 418th Sqdn.       MACR #688 Microfiche #227

 Mission: Stuttgart       A/C#'42-30402 (POONTANG)
 Date: 6 Sept.1943
 Time. 0930

Capt.Edgar F.Woodward,Jr.               P  INTERNEE 
F/O John H.Thompson                     CP  POW 
2nd Lt Emanuel A.Cassimatis           NAV  POW
1st Lt Paul L,Englert                      BOM  POW
  T/Sgt Frank Danella                     TTE   POW
  T/Sgt Melvin E.Gaide                   ROG   POW
  S/Sgt George A.Janos                  BTG   POW
  S/Sgt Donald H.Fletcher               RWG  POW
  S/Sgt Charles J.Griffin                  LWG  POW
  S/Sgt William D.Brooks                  TG  POW

Eyewitness accounts:

"Saw Woodward's ship going down at 4830N-0803E at 0929  #2 engine was windmilling. everything else seemed to be OK."
                                                     Walter U. "Chief" Moreno  1st Lt.

"Saw Capt. Woodward's A/C turned out of formation under control and headed for Switzerland. Nothing seemed wrong with A/C,"
                                                     John D. Brady, 1st Lt.

"A/C #402 at 0930 approximately 2 miles north of Strasbourg salvoed bombs into a woods. Headed south and went under cloud deck.All engines turning over. No E/A or AA at this time."
                                                     Gale W.Cleven,Major, 350th BS C.O.

A letter from D.H.Fletcher of 25/1/84 states that on the way into the target, an oil leak in #2 engine. Woodward could then have aborted,but decided to press on.Somewhere near the IP oil pressure went to zero and prop would not feather - cylinder head temp. went sky high. If engine seized and prop came off it could have been disastrous to ship.It was decided to head south for Switzerland. When they believed themselves over Switzerland,the crew bailed. It turned out that only Woodward, who remained with aircraft until the crew had successfully bailed out, landed in Switzerland,the others in Germany.

See S.O.C. p.19


EDGAR WOODWARD WAS ON THE "ADDRESS UNKNOWN"  V.A. LIST FOR MANY YEARS, BUT AS OF 1993 HE RESIDES IN ALEXANDER, VA .  HE WAS CONTACTED  BY THE 100TH SPLASHER SIX EDITIOR  HARRY H. CROSBY.CREW


T/SGT GAIDE WAS IN Stalag 17B Braunau Gneikendorf Near Krems Austria 48-15.



Cassimatis, Emanuel A. Manny Col. USAF, Retired On Sunday, May 31, 2009. Beloved husband for 63 years of Anne Manglis Cassimatis; dearest father of Anthony E. Cassimatis (Susan) and Carol Cassimatis; dear brother of John Cassimatis and the late Dorothea Poris; dear grandfather of Gregory Cassimatis and Claire Holen (Erik); dear great-grandfather of Samuel Holen; dear brother-in-law, uncle, cousin and friend. Services: The Funeral Service will be conducted at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, 4967 Forest Park Ave., on Thursday, June 4, at 10:00 a.m. Interment with full military honors at St. Matthews Cemetery. Memorials appreciated to St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church. The family will receive friends at THE LUPTON CHAPEL, 7233 Delmar Blvd., University City, on Wednesday from 4:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. Trisaghion Service Wednesday evening at 7:00 p.m.


Manny Cassimatis, WWII vet and onetime restaurateur, dies
By Michael Sorkin
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
06/03/2009

Manny Cassimatis navigated bombers during World War II and was shot down and survived a prisoner of war camp later made famous in the movie "The Great Escape." But he is better known for the downtown hangout he founded: the Missouri Grill and Bar.

Emanuel A. "Manny" Cassimatis died Sunday (May 31, 2009) of acute kidney failure at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. He was 93 and a longtime resident of Creve Coeur.

The restaurant is at 701 North Tucker Boulevard, two blocks from the Post-Dispatch and across the street from the building that housed the Globe-Democrat newspaper. For years the restaurant and saloon was a favorite of staffers at the rival publications, as well as politicians and business people. You were as likely to see a bank president at the bar as a newspaper pressman in overalls.

Mr. Cassimatis opened the restaurant in 1940 after graduating from the old Central High School and studying business at St. Louis University, where he played football. 

Near the beginning of World War II, he enlisted in the Army Air Corps and became a navigator. He was lead navigator in the first daylight bombing raid over Germany, his family recalled.

In another encounter, Mr. Cassimatis told his family that German fighter planes had shot down his B-17 bomber, which had no fighter escort of its own. 

He bailed out and made his way to Switzerland, where a farmer first took him in, but then betrayed him to German Gestapo agents. They sent him to Stalag Luft III, a German prisoner of war camp in Poland that housed captured Air Force servicemen.

The Germans planned the camp to be impervious from escape. But the prisoners organized two major escapes by tunneling, as depicted in the 1963 movie starring Steve McQueen.

Mr. Cassimatis was transferred along with other prisoners to another camp that was liberated in 1945. He had weighed 210 pounds when he was captured; two years later, he emerged a free man at 117 pounds.

Mr. Cassimatis returned to his restaurant, which his father had operated while he was at war. Columnists Bob Broeg and Jake McCarthy helped make the restaurant a popular gathering place.

Mr. Cassimatis sold the restaurant in 1974. It was eventually renamed the Missouri Bar and Grill. 

He continued to help potential recruits get into the Air Force and remained in the Air Force Reserves, retiring as a colonel. 

One of his recruits was Michael Blassie, who was killed in the Vietnam War and was originally buried in the Tomb of the Unknowns. In 1998, Blassie's body was returned to his family in St. Louis and reburied in Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery.

Visitation for Mr. Cassimatis is from 4 to 8 p.m. today at Lupton Chapel, 7233 Delmar Boulevard, University City. The funeral is at 10 a.m. Thursday at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, 4967 Forest Park Avenue. 

Survivors include his wife, Anne Cassimatis of Creve Coeur; a son, Anthony Cassimatis of Ballwin; a daughter, Carol Cassimatis of Chesterfield; a brother, John Cassimatis of south St. Louis County; two grandchildren; and one great grandson.

Memorials may be made to St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church.


From Splasher Six, E. A. Cassimatis obituary:
Mr. Cassimatis told his family that German fighter planes had shot down his B-17 bomber, which had no fighter escort of its own. He bailed out and was making his way to Switzerland, where a farmer first took him in, but then betrayed him to German Gestapo agents. They sent him to Stalag Luft III, a German prisoner of war camp in Poland that housed captured Air Force servicemen.

The Germans planned the camp to be impervious from escape. But the prisoners organized two major escapes by tunneling, as depicted in the 1963 movie starring Steve McQueen.

Mr. Cassimatis was transferred along with other prisoners to another camp that was liberated in 1945. He had weighed 210 pounds when he was captured; two years later, he emerged a free man at 117 pounds. 
Cindy Goodman, Splasher Six Editor

MEMO 2:

Pilot feared engine would seize up, Crew # tried to jump over Switzerland, but only Pilot landed in Switzerland

KIA / MIA / EVA / INT INFORMATION:

TARGET: Stuttgart DATE: 1943-09-06  
AIRCRAFT: "Poontang" (42-30402) CAUSE: Lost Oil Pressure  

BURIAL INFORMATION

PLOT: ROW:  
GRAVE: CEMETERY:  

PHOTOS:

Edgar Woodward Crew (left to right) Photo in front of Escape Kit 
Standing: Charles J. Griffin, William D. Brooks, Melvin E. Gaide, Donald H. Fletcher, George A. Janos, Unknown
Kneeling: Robert E.Dibble (KIA 15 Aug 43), John H. Thompson, Edgar F. Woodward, Jr., Emanuel Cassimatis
100th BG Photo Archives
  

Members of Lt Woodward Crew:  L-R Robert Dibble, LT  Emanuel A. "Manny" Cassimattis, Edgar Woodward, John H. Thompson. Courtesy of Jim Blakely, Forkner Photo collection and Matt Mabe .

 

SERVED IN:

Crew 1

ID: 797