25 Nov 1919 1
Allegeny County, PA 1
07 May 1982 1
Penna. 1

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Also known as:
WWII 321st BG,446th BS 1
25 Nov 1919 1
Allegeny County, PA 1
Male 1
07 May 1982 1
Penna. 1
B-25 Gunner/Armorer, Mess Sgt 1

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John J Halko


John J Halko;

   *** John J Halko was born 25 November, 1919 in Homestead, Allegheny County, PA and passed on 7 May, 1982 at the age of 63. John was residing at 408 Emerson Ave. Homestead Park, PA at enlistment on 4 April, 1942 in Pittsburgh, Pa. His AUS Serial Number is 33 260 575. John completed high school with a Commercial Diploma from Munhall High, Munhallboro, Pa. in 1939. He was working at the Carnegie Ill. Steel Corp. 8th Ave, Munhall, Pa. as the supervisor of 14 men and was an assistant to the foremen and trained new men to their jobs. John was also in charge of time-reports and production. ("Carnegie-Illinois Steel Company" was actually United States Steel Corporation in 1939, the U.S. Steel was founded in 1901 by combining Andrew Carnegie's  Carnegie Steel Company with Federal Steel Company and National Steel Company. Historical Steel research by his son John, please see links below the Map)

"In the Army Now".... John was trained at ACTS, Lowrey Field in Armament and OTU, Waterboro, SC in Gunnery. Private Halko went to basic training, A C, and then Cpl Halko learned to be an Armorer and then S/S Armorer/Gunner, AP 613, .... John's other specialties were Cook and Mess Sergeant.
321st Bomb Group, 446th Bomb Squadron, B-25 Mitchell Medium Bombers. S/Sgt John J Halko John was eventually assigned to Army Air Corp and then the 321st Bomb Group at Columbia, SC and flew across the Atlantic Ocean in the "now famous" General Bob Knapp's Flight Over" . . . . the 1st crossing, the Southern Route in a single mass without loss! It was called the "HOP" from Morrison Field, Florida, to Puerto Rico, Belem, Natal, (etc.) *** 1440 miles of nothing but water *** over to the Ascension Island and up the coast of North Africa to the Mediterranean Theatre. (leaving 12 Feb. 1943 and arriving Africa 25 Feb. 1943)
Armorer Gunner, Airplane; Operated as Tail Aerial Gunner in B-25 airplane on 11 Combat Missions. Cleaned and maintained 50 caliber machine guns. Also loaded bombs. John was then assigned to the ground crew as a Mess Sgt and departed the MTO on 9 Aug. 1945.

Stories and photo's are coming from John's proud son, John A Halko. Barbi Ennis Connolly, 319th and 321st BG Historian in the 57th Bomb Wing and Historical Researcher for WWII.

John J Halko

North Africa

The General Bob Knapp [now famous] Flight over the Atlantic (the "Hop") the Southern Route in a single mass without loss.

Friday, 12 February 1943


446th BS War Diary:Ground Echelon:En route to Theatre of Operations.Air Echelon:Formation took off from DeRidder with Col. Knapp leading.Although the destination was Morrison Field, Fla.Which was to be the Port of Embarkation, some planes were forced to land at Homestead field, Fla.They rejoined the others a few hours later.Minor mechanical difficulties were the reasons for some of the planes stopping en route.

Knapp, Robert D., Col, pilot, 321st BG Commander

A/C No. 41-13192 Pilot; Porter, Jack G., 2Lt Co-Pilot; Browning, Eugene S., 2Lt Navigator; none Bombardier; Marek, Joseph R., 2Lt Eng.; Lytle, Logan L., Sgt Radio; Rubidoux, Louis W., S/Sgt Gunner; Halko, John J., Sgt F; Floethe, Jack A., S/Sgt (PAX)
Saturday, 20 March 1943

446th BS Mission Summary: (Ops Order 4/mission 4) Group Mission # 4: Group mission # 4, Squadron # 2Formation led by Major Schwane to a L/G north of Djebel Tebaga.  Frag bombs were dropped with excellent results.

A/C No.   41-13192

Pilot; Porter, Jack Grafton, 2Lt

Co-Pilot; Browning, Eugene S. “Squif”, 2Lt Navigator; None Bombardier; Marek, Joseph R., 2Lt Engineer; Lytle, Logan Lee, Sgt Radio; Nicholson, John E., S/Sgt Gunner; Halko, John J., Sgt





Monday, 5 April 1943

446th BS Mission Summary: (Ops Order 19/mission 18) Group Mission # 18: Group mission 18, Squadron 10. Eight planes led by Lt. Bradley on a Sea Sweep.  500 lb bombs were dropped and 3 merchant vessels, 1 destroyer, and 3 flak barges were sunk.  Lt. Garmon and T. Martin were wounded by light caliber fire.  One complete crew was lost, Lt. Lovingood, Lt. Cleary, Lt. Cordes, S/Sgt. Kralicek, and S/Sgt. Belser.  Lt. Bradley’s stabilizer and rudder were pretty well shot up and he was force to make an emergency landing at Bone.

A/C No.   41-13192 Pilot; Porter, Jack G., 1Lt Co-Pilot; Browning, Eugene S., 1Lt Navigator; None Bombardier; Marek, Joseph R., 2Lt Engineer; Lytle, Logan Lee, S/Sgt Radio; Nicholson, John E., T/Sgt Gunner; Halko, John J., S/Sgt

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