1942 — United Kingdom
T/Sgt Casimier V. Sochocki, Marauder Man
323rd Bomb Group, 453rd Bomb Squadron
Mr. Sochocki was born January 28, 1923, in South Bend Indiana. His Dad came from Poland and his mom was a local girl. They had four boys and four girls. He attended a public school, a parochial school, and quit high school in his senior year to join the USAAF. He loved to play softball and did a lot of golfing. He enlisted on January 16,1942, did basic training at Charlotte Army AM Base, Charlotte, North Carolina and also received ordnance training there. He joined the 677th Ordnance Company AVN(P) in its infancy. The 677th was split up and the men went to different bomb groups. He and 16 of the 677th went to the 323rd Bomb Group and he and 3 others wound up in the 453rd Bomb Squadron.
He deployed overseas with the ground section of the Group in early May 1943, traveling to England by ship on the Queen Mary. They were packed in like sardines with a load of 18,000 troops on board. They set up shop at Horham, England and then moved to Earls Colne. As an ordnance man, he delivered and loaded bombs onto the B-26s and also supplied the 50-caliber ammunition for the machine guns.
In December 1944, aircrews were in shortage and volunteers were called for. Sochocki and 6 other men from the 453rd ordnance and armament sections volunteered to become toggliers/bombardiers without bomb sights. They dropped their bombs when the lead bombardier dropped his.
He flew his first mission on Christmas Eve that month, during the Battle of the Bulge. He continued to fly as required, and flew 17 missions in the month of March. His last mission was on April 20th - 34 missions total. Sochocki helped in the disarmament of Germany and was finally demobilized back to the United States beginning on September 28, 1945, and was discharged on October 9th.
Casimier served his country in the United States Air Force during WWII. He flew on 34 missions as a Bombardier Navigator. He was in the 453rd Bomb Squadron of the 323rd Bomb Group in the 9th Air Force. A decorated veteran, among his honors was the Air Medal with the 5 Oak Leaf Clusters. Recently, he was awarded the Legion of Honor from the country of France.
323rd BG Web-site; http://www.323bg.org/ Michael Smith, Webmaster and Historian.
08 Jan 2012
From ROY BOZYCH, 323rd BG Historian; firstname.lastname@example.org
I was recently informed by his son Curt that Casimier V. Sochocki passed on Jan 26th, 2011 just two days short of his 88th birthday. Casimier was the 453rd Squadron Treasurer and Historian. He flew 34 combat missions with the 453rd Squadron. Mike Smith has a very nice write up on Casimier with pictures on his website B26.com. Here is the link: http://b26.com/marauderman/casimier_sochocki.htm
While I never got to personally meet Casimier, I did get to have many enjoyable conversations with him while doing research on veterans of the 453rd Squadron. I know we will all miss him. Please join me and the rest of the 323rd BG family in offering our deepest sympathies and prayers to his family on his passing. ROY