21 Feb. 1945 — Italy
MTO /WWII P-61 Fighter Pilot, Lt Ky B Putnam;
A/C: 42-39508 (P-61) Lockheed Black Widow
Group: 62 (62nd Fighter Group)
414th Fighter Squadron
Location: ITALY--2 survivors
Pilot: Lt. Ky B. Putnam
Rad Op: Lt. John E. Marunovich
Lt. Marunovich left us in Oct of 2000; however,
Lt. (now Col.) Ky B. Putnam is still with us,
and I have an e-mail out directly to him.
30 March, 2013 - Agostini Alberti; Hello all of you!
Last January 2012, I incidentally investigated around the loss of an
P-61 Black Widow of the 414th NFS, which occurred on February 21, 1945.
Thanks to Patti, I was able to meet Mr. Ky Putnam, one of the two airmen
aboard the a/c.
Well, last week I was contacted by a man from Bobbio (Piacenza) who told
me he has located the crash-point of a night intruder "Pippo" which
crashed that February 21, 1945.
Also, he has retrieved an old manuscript from a witness of the crash.
The author, a 15 years old chap a that time, saw personally Mr. Putnam
in the so called "cascina Mazzucca", close to Bobbio.
Yesterday, Bob Shank has phoned Mr. Putnam and here is the account of
the phone call.
This sounds amazing... Many, many thanks to all of you! Sincerely, Ago
Dear Ago, Just 2 minutes ago, I was able to speak on the phone with*/ /*former
WWII P-61 pilot, */Ky Putnam, /*in Houston, TX. Yes, the real guy!
Mr Putnam is 89 years old.
He confirmed the information Patti retrieved for you. Their mission in
the P-61 Black Widow that night was to bomb a confirmed fuel repository,
and, to shoot out as many lights as they could to keep the local skies
*/dark! /*for the Germans. Ky also told me that after bailing out, their
P-61 exploded to smithereens, and whatever parts remained were
completely confiscated/stolen by local people - he said there wasn't a
shred of it left (didn't explain to me how he knew that, but I suspect a
later search for the remains turned up no evidence at all). Their
mission took them north of Milano, toward the mountains (you'd know what
those mountains are).
His radar operator, Lt John E. Marinovich (he was specific about the
name), was of Hungarian descent from Aberdeen, Washington, USA, and is
Mr. Putnam still has an intelligible voice and seems to be very keen in
his remembrances of the mission.
I asked if I could call him again in the near future for more details
should you need them. He agreed.
He's a fine gentleman, and I was very pleased to speak with him. I gave
him my Tucson telephone number and my address for further contact and
Ago: how would you like me to procede, if necessary? Any specific
questions you'd like me to ask him?
Signing off for now, Your Arizona friend, ~Bob Shank
(Research/Statistics by Patti Johnson, WWII Historical Researcher)