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Lt John W Carmine, Pilot, WW II 321stBG,445thBS, MTO
8 Oct. 1943 | Italy
John W Carmine, Jr. was born on 23 July, 1919 to John W and Margaret (Richie Banks) in Virigina.
John W Carmine, Joined the AAC 23 Dec, 1944, in Richmond VA. as an AAC Aviation Cadet. # 13035710
( USAF Honoree John Walter Carmine Petersburg, VA U.S. Army Air Forces, submitted by his son, John M. Carmine. National WWII Memorial, Washington, D.C. )
B-25 Pilot in the Army Air Corps in WW II / 321st Bomb Group, 445th Bomb Squad, SHOT-DOWN on Combat mission, 8 Oct. 1943, to Greece. He was a Home-Grown Virginian !
321stBG,445thBS, Lt John Carmine 8 Oct. 1943, Shot-Down
Eyewitness Accounts: Joyce, Bryan A., 2Lt, navigator, 448th BS
2nd Lieut. Bryan A. Joyce, 0-798814, navigator of the No. 2 plane (42-64668), 4th element of the 4th flight, commented as follows: “From the astrodome, I observed plane 42-64675, which was two elements in front of us, make a sharp turn of 180° and head back toward another B-25 which was falling behind and quickly losing altitude after an attack by enemy fighters. It seemed to me that Plane 675, in which Lt. Fisher was the pilot, slightly overshot his second 180° turn and when once again heading in the same direction we were, the plane was several hundred yards behind the damaged B-25 and was quickly gaining on him. Enemy fighters began to attack both of the planes behind the formation; the damaged B-25 went into the water and plane 675 pulled back up to rejoin our formation. His right engine was feathered and he continued to gain on us as we were only flying 150 mph. When we approached the narrows just before reaching Cape Avia, we were attacked by a fresh bunch of enemy fighters. Plane 675 had not quite reached our element and was the main prey for the aggressive fighters. The bomber began to lose altitude quickly and was forced to make a water landing with the fighters still attacking. There were splashes from bullets all around the bomber as the landing was made but none after the plane had stopped. The plane was still afloat when I last saw it. There was a slight haze and soon the plane could not be seen at all. I plotted the position where the plane landed in the water on my map.”
321stBG,445thBS, Lt John Carmine, Pilot, A/C No. 42-64675 "Shot-Down" 8 Oct. 1943
Eyewitness Accounts: Morris, Raymond A., T/Sgt, engineer-gunner, 448th BS
S/Sgt. Raymond Morris, 34202342, the tail gunner in the No. 3 Plane (41-12926), 4th element of the 4th flight, said: “I saw plane 42-64675 pass by the tail of our plane going in the opposite direction. He was heading for the other B-25 that had fallen back after an attack on our formation by enemy fighters. Plane 675 went on slightly behind the damaged bomber and then made a 180° turn back in our direction. At this time, the enemy fighters began to attack both of the bombers behind the formation. I tried to cover both of the planes with my tail gun but they were out of range. I saw the other bomber hit the water and explode. I was busy with attacking fighters for a moment and when I again looked at plane 675, the right engine was feathered and it was closing the gap between us. Before he had a chance to rejoin us, the formation was again attacked by enemy fighters. Several of the fighters picked plane 675 for their target. Plane 675 began to lose altitude and went into the water. It appeared that a good landing was made as the plane did not burn or fall apart when hitting. As we pulled away, I could see the plane floating on the water but couldn’t watch it for long because of more fighter attacks on our element which kept me very busy. When I again looked at the water, we were too far away to see if the aircraft was yet floating.”
321stBG,445thBS, Lt John Carmine, Pilot, A/C No. 42-64675 "Shot-Down" 8 Oct. 1943
Friday, 8 October 1943 (continued)
Eyewitness Accounts: Cook, Bailey C., Col, pilot, Operations Officer, HQ 321st BG
Hqs 321st Bomb Gp (M), O of the Opns O, 30 November 1943. TO: Commanding General, Hqs, Twelfth Air Force, APO 650, US Army. (THRU: Commanding General, XII ASC, APO 766, US Army).
1. It is felt that a narrative of the details of this casualty by the undersigned eye-witness might aid in the interpretation by Intelligence of the diverging views mentioned in 6th Indorsement.
a. The “Missing Air Crew Report” is correct.
b. Heavy accurate flak severely damaged Lieutenant Hartmeister’s plane over the target. He feathered one engine, left the formation and lost altitude toward the Gulf of Korinthos. One element (3 planes) of my flight detached itself and dropped back and down to protect this cripple. I (in 42-64575) left the formation (48 planes) with my flight of (7 planes) to cover this element and the crippled # 42-64590 as they were being aggressively attacked by enemy fighters. Lieutenant Hartmeister retained control of his plane from 10.000 feet to the water’s surface but continued to drop back farther and farther until our tail guns no longer covered him. I did not actually see him hit the water, as did witnesses in the element behind me and nearer the cripple, because we entered a rain storm and the visibility became relatively poor. However, Lieutenant Hartmeister could not have bailed out his crew from the altitude at which I last saw him. His gradual dropping back leads me to suppose that he retained control of the plane despite one feathered engine and another damaged.
c. At the time Lieutenant Hartmeister (42-64675) was forced to leave his element and try for a water landing, bombing had been completed and a breakaway to the left was being effected. At this point his element leader, Lieutenant Fisher, peeled out of formation in a suicidal attempt to single-handedly save his wing-man by joining on and flying formation with him. Before Lieutenant Fisher could maneuver into this position, enemy fighters shit out one of his engines. He feathered it and continued to close fast on Lieutenant Hartmeister (I am told).
d. Hence we have a flight of seven (7) planes at zero altitude, entering a storm, followed by an element of 3 planes a mile behind, trailed by two planes each having one engine feathered. According to other witnesses, one of these two exploded - they could not agree which. At this time a P-38 crashed into the water near by and exploded. Three other P-38’s, flying on one engine, fell in on my wing for navigation home as I entered the storm.
e. In a water landing, the B-25 type airplane usually cracks open just abaft the wing. The engineer-gunner, radio-gunner and turret-gunner have their posts in this part of the plane. Their avenues of escape are (1) downward through hatch (usually jammed in belly landing) (2) through small port hole (provided no parachutes are worn) (3) via the waist-gun ports (after first removing the gun and mount) and (4) through the cracked fuselage itself (if they are not wounded, panicky or rendered unconscious). The pilot, co-pilot and bombardier ordinarily escape through the pilot’s hatch which opens upward. The average length of time this type plane remains afloat after crash landing is three (3) minutes.
f. Lieutenant Fisher’s crew follows:
P. Lt. J. B. Fisher
CP. Lt. J. W. Carmine
N. Lt. H. G. Osburn
B. Capt. C. H. Corning (S-2, 82nd Fighter Gp)
E. S/Sgt. T. C. Kunis
R. S/Sgt. H. L. Garthwaite
G. S/Sgt. J. Woronuk
BAILEY C. COOK,
Lt. Colonel, Air Corps
Group Operations Officer.
POW , "Stalag Luft 1 Barth-Vogelsang Prussia 54-12"
The Return HOME Carmine, John W., 2Lt,pilot (0-794527)
(NARA POW – O&794527 CARMINE JOHN W ARMY VA)(NARA - 13035710 CARMINE#JOHN#W# UC UC RICHMOND VA 41)
USAF Honoree John Walter Carmine Petersburg, VA U.S. Army Air Forces, submitted by his son, John M. Carmine. National WWII Memorial, Washington, D.C.
Lt John Carmine, 8 Oct. 1843, Shot-down at Sea/POW
1945 | Italy
From John's son, John M Carmine.....
The B-25 plane number was #42-64675 and the crew was:
Pilot: Fisher, James B., Jr., 1Lt, SN#O&659966
CoPilot: Carmine, John W., 2Lt, SN#O&794527
Navigator:Osburn, Hobart G., 2Lt, SN#O&669098
Bombardier:McLeod, Jack P., 2Lt, SN#O&731211
Engineer: Kunis, Theodore C., S/Sgt, SN#33069075
R Garthwaite, Howard S., S/Sgt, SN#32402780
G Woronuk, John (NMI), Cpl, SN#6846610 (POW record of SN#, no enlistment record)
B-25 Ship, #42-64675
plane was damaged on their first bombing mission to Athens'
Eleusis Airdrome in Greece.
They were forced to ditch in the Gulf of Corinth
at 1:45 PM ("that's when my wrist watch stopped" related Bart
Osburn). After trying to paddle their 6-man lifeboat (2 had to hang on
from the water) to the shore, which was in sight, without little or no success,
they were picked up by a German cutter at about 6 PM and taken to a German camp
in the mountains of Greece.
From the mountain camp in Greece the
crew was loaded on a train and taken to Frankfort,
Luft near Frankfurt-am-Main).
the Dulog Luft interrogation stop, the officer POWs were taken by train to
Stalag Luft 1 near Barth, German on the Baltic Sea
where he was held from October 1943 to May 1, 1945 when the Russians had
liberated the camp. [Note: National Archives records list camp as:
"Stalag Luft 1 Barth-Vogelsang Prussia".] After contact
was made with the Russians arrangements were made to evacuate the liberated
POWs by air. This was completed by 15 May 1945.