Conflict Period:
World War II 1
Army Air Forces 1
Sergeant 1
19 Feb 1944 1
Lago di Lesina 2
Lake Lessina, Italy 1

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Personal Details

Frank Orfila 4
Age in 1930: 11 4
Estimated Birth Year: 1919 4
19 Feb 1944 2
Lago di Lesina 3
Lake Lessina, Italy 2
Cause: B-25 Exploded. 2
Place: ORLEANS County, Louisiana 4
From: 1930 4
Enumeration District: NEW ORLEANS CITY, WARD 3 4

World War II 1

Army Air Forces 1
Sergeant 1
Service End Date:
31 Dec 1969 1

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Frank Orfila, WWII B-25 Crew Chief, MIA/Lost 19 Feb.'44

Frank was killed /DNB in a B-25 Ferring Mission from Vinzenca A/D to Guado near Foggia. B-25 exploded (cause unknown) over Lake Lesina (Lago di Lesina) on the shores of the town of Lesina, Italy

Frank T Orfila was living at 2430 Magazine Street, New Orleans, LA at enlistment. (New Orleans Parish)  He joined the Army of the United States on 14 Jan. 1942, directly into the Army Air Corps at Camp Shelby, Miss.  He had completed 3 years of high school, was single at enlistment and was working as a welder.  Frank was a Catholic, and listed as MIA.  Frank served in the 321st Bomb Group, 447th Bomb Squad as an Engineer working on the B-25 Mitchell Medium Bomber.

   Frank's Sweetheart was Honora Howard.   Frank was Lost/MIA on 19 Feb.1944 over Lake Lesina, Italy.  The cause of the B-25 explosion was never determined.  Way-too many of our wonderful young men did not return, they won for us the Freedom we enjoy today.  "Once Loved, Never Forgotten". . . . We Remember.

Barbi Ennis Connolly  321st Bomb Group Historian/ 57th Bomb Wing Historical Researcher.

  Honora never forgot her sweetheart either, but like may women in America, she bravely went forward to meet her new life without Frank and these stories and photo's are from Honora (91) and her daughter Margaret Gustavson.  April, 2011

Nellie Orfila, TWO sons, Frank and Harry both KIA in WWII

Nettuno, Italy

Frank and Honora;  28 April, 2011

    Thank you so much for your quick reply. I have sent the group photo to Barbara. I have one other photo of Frank with three other men. I think that one was probably taken during training in the United States, although that is just my impression. I can't read the names on two of the men, although one of them might be "p. wales". One of the men is labelled "Red".  Not helpful! I'll email that one if you like. Of course, I have several other photos of Frank Orfila individually.
    As I think I mentioned previously, my mom would probably have married him had he survived the war. He had one brother, Harry Orfila, who was killed in a submarine just before Frank was killed. Their mother, who was then left alone, became my dear GODMOTHER, and we were very close. Mom (Honora) never had a sense of closure about Frank's death. She had been told that he had been buried in Bari, Italy, but I have not been able to confirm that, and I know that he is memorialized at the cemetery at Nettuno. I had thought that his body was not recovered, but mom says that his mother did have the option to bring his body home but did not because she could not recover the body of her other son. It was she who told mom that he was buried at Bari. Frank was a crew chief, and would not ordinarily have been flying. He was being transferred to the base in Foggia when the plane went down.
    Thank you all for your interest in history. My mom is 91 years old, and in some ways, the pain of losing Frank is still very sharp.   Warmest regards,   Margaret Gustafson


Orfila, Frank T., T/Sgt., Engineering, Enlistment Service # : 14079778 KILLED on 19 February 1944 on Shuttle Service Mission Between Vincenzo & Gaudo, Italy.  The Plane Exploded in the Air and Crashed into Lake Lesina, North of Foggia. Cause of the Crash Was Never Known.

U.S. World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946 Name: Frank T Orfila
ARMY SERIAL NUMBER 14079778  14079778 Birth Year: 1918 Race: White, citizen (White)
Nativity State or Country: Mississippi; State of Residence: Mississippi;  Enlistment Date: 14 Jan 1942
Enlistment State: Mississippi; Enlistment City: Camp Shelby;  Branch: Air Corps;  Grade: Private
Source: Civil Life; Education: 3 years of high school; Civil Occupation: Semiskilled welders and flame cutters;  Marital Status: Single, without dependents;  Height: 70;  Weight: 166

U.S. Rosters of World War II Dead, 1939-1945;  Name: Frank T Orfila;  Gender: Male;  Race: White
religion: Catholic;  Disposition: Nonrecoverable;  Service Branch: Army;  Rank: Technical Sergeant
Service Number: 14079778

U.S. WWII Military Personnel Missing In Action or Lost At Sea, 1941-1946;  Name: Frank T Orfila
Date of Loss: 19 Feb 1944 0;  Branch: U.S. Army Air Force;  Rank: T SG;  Service Number: 14079778
Status: Missing in Action
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> World War II and Korean Conflict Veterans Interred Overseas; Name: Frank T Orfila; Inducted From: Louisiana;  Rank: Technical Sergeant;  Combat Organization: 447th Bomber Squadron 321st Bomber
Death Date: 19 Feb 1944;  Monument: Sicily & Rome, Italy; Last Known Status: Missing

National WWII Memorial, Washington, D.C.;  Registry~NARA~War Department Files;  Honoree Hometown Service Source;  Frank T. Orfila Orleans Parish, LA U.S. Army  National Archives;  T SG Frank T. Orfila   ID: 14079778;  Branch of Service: U.S. Army;  Hometown: Orleans Parish, LA;  Status: DNB
National WWII Memorial, Washington, D.C.;  Registry~NARA~War Department Files;  Honoree Hometown Service Source;  Frank T. Orfila LA U.S. Army Air Forces ABMC Tablets of the Missing
Frank T. Orfila  ID: 14079778;  Entered the Service From: Louisiana;  Rank: Technical Sergeant
Service: U.S. Army Air Forces, 447th Bomber Squadron, 321st Bomber Group, Medium; Died: Saturday, February 19, 1944;  Memorialized at: Sicily-Rome American Cemetery;  Location: Nettuno, Italy

From:  TSgt Frank T Orfila;  Birth:  unknown;  Death:  Feb. 19, 1944;  Note: Entered the service from Louisiana.;  Burial: Sicily-Rome American Cemetery and Memorial Nettuno, Lazio, Italy

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