Summary

Conflict Period:
World War II 1
Branch:
Army 1
Birth:
1917 1
New York 1
Death:
03 Oct 1944 2
near Trecate, Province of Novara, Italy 2
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Pictures & Records (23)

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Page 22
Page 22
This is a page from the Missing Air Crew Report MACR 9028, listing the crew members missing in action on October 3, 1944.
Page 27
Page 27
This is a page from the Missing Air Crew Report MACR 9028 which is a translation of the German Army report about the loss of the plane and the recovery and burial of the body of Joseph M. Voelker.
Page 2
Page 2
Page 18
Page 18
This page from the Missing Air Crew Report MACR 9028 shows the location of the crash of the plane
Page 19
Page 19
This page from the Missing Air Crew Report MACR 9028 contains the eyewitness account of the loss of the plane
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Page 23
This page from the Missing Air Crew Report MACR 9028 lists the next of kin of the crew members
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Page 20
445 Nose-Art Lt Voelker.jpg
445 Nose-Art Lt Voelker.jpg
445 Nose-Art Lt Voelker, KIA Portrait.jpg~
445 Nose-Art Lt Voelker, KIA Portrait.jpg~
Page 69
Page 69
NY Casualty List from WWII
321st Patch.JPG
321st Patch.JPG
445th Patch.JPG
445th Patch.JPG
Voelker, Joseph M._Brooklyn Daily Eagle_NY_Wed_18 April 1945_Pg 13_Photo.JPG
Voelker, Joseph M._Brooklyn Daily Eagle_NY_Wed_18 April 1945_Pg 13_Photo.JPG
Voelker, Joseph Michael_Voelker Family Photo.JPG
Voelker, Joseph Michael_Voelker Family Photo.JPG
Voelker, Joseph Michael_Brookly Prep School_NY_1936.JPG
Voelker, Joseph Michael_Brookly Prep School_NY_1936.JPG
Voelker, Joseph M._Brooklyn Daily Eagle_NY_Wed_18 April 1945_Pg 13_Clip.JPG
Voelker, Joseph M._Brooklyn Daily Eagle_NY_Wed_18 April 1945_Pg 13_Clip.JPG
Voelker, Joseph M._Brooklyn Daily Eagle_NY_Fri_11 Jul 1941_Pg 15.JPG
Voelker, Joseph M._Brooklyn Daily Eagle_NY_Fri_11 Jul 1941_Pg 15.JPG
Voelker, Joseph M._Brooklyn Daily Eagle_NY_Sun_06 June 1943_Pg 17.JPG
Voelker, Joseph M._Brooklyn Daily Eagle_NY_Sun_06 June 1943_Pg 17.JPG
Voelker, Joseph M._Brooklyn Daily Eagle_NY_Mon_10 Jan 1944_Pg 7_Clip.JPG
Voelker, Joseph M._Brooklyn Daily Eagle_NY_Mon_10 Jan 1944_Pg 7_Clip.JPG
Voelker, Joseph M._Brooklyn Daily Eagle_NY_Mon_10 Jan 1944_Pg 7_Photo.JPG
Voelker, Joseph M._Brooklyn Daily Eagle_NY_Mon_10 Jan 1944_Pg 7_Photo.JPG
Voelker, Joseph M._Brooklyn Daily Eagle_NY_Thurs_15 Feb 1945_Pg 20.JPG
Voelker, Joseph M._Brooklyn Daily Eagle_NY_Thurs_15 Feb 1945_Pg 20.JPG
Voelker, Joseph M._Brooklyn Daily Eagle_NY_Mon_01 Oct 1945_Pg 7.JPG
Voelker, Joseph M._Brooklyn Daily Eagle_NY_Mon_01 Oct 1945_Pg 7.JPG
Voelker, Joseph M._Brooklyn Daily Eagle_NY_Sun_27 Feb 1949_Pg 26.JPG
Voelker, Joseph M._Brooklyn Daily Eagle_NY_Sun_27 Feb 1949_Pg 26.JPG

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Personal Details

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Person:
Joseph Michael Voelker 2
Joseph M Voelker 1
Level of Education: 4 years of college 1
Marital Status: Single, without dependents 1
Birth:
1917 1
New York 1
Death:
03 Oct 1944 2
near Trecate, Province of Novara, Italy 2
Cause: His plane was shot down 2
Residence:
Place: Kings County, New York 1
Edit

World War II 1

Branch:
Army 1
Enlistment Date:
11 Feb 1941 1
Army Branch:
Medical Administrative Corps - For Officers only 1
Army Component:
Regular Army (including Officers, Nurses, Warrant Officers, and Enlisted Men) 1
Army Serial Number:
11016237 1
Enlistment Place:
Rutland Vermont 1
Source of Army Personnel:
Civil Life 1
Edit
Occupation:
Actors and actresses 1
Race or Ethnicity:
White 1
Source Information:
Box Number: 0058 1
Film Reel Number: 1.51 1

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Stories

Joseph M Voelker, 321stBG, 445th BS, KIA (1917-) 1944

On April 1, 1944 he was assigned to the 321st Bomb Group (B-25 Mitchell Medium-Bombers), 445th Bomb Squad of the 57th Bomb Wing in the 12th Air Force.  Then based at Solenzara on the Island of Corsica, France.  His B-25 - J plane left Hunter Field, Georgia, for Corsica on 7 April, 1944, arriving 11 May, 1944 after stops in Florida, Puerto Rico, Guyana, Brazil, Ascension Island, Liberia, Senegal, Mauritania, Morocco and Algeria.

The 12th Air Force was then engaged in tactical bombing of bridges, railroads, roads, etc., in order to impede the movement of German troops and equipment as the Allied forces moved north up the Italian Peninsula (Operation Strangle). They also flew missions over Southern France in support of the invasion there on August 15, 1944 (Operation Anvil or Dragoon). The B-25's flew frequent missions, weather permitting.

A listing of the various missions for which Joe received the Air Medal and nine Oak Leaf clusters gives a good idea of the kinds of missions he flew. His Air Medal Citation read:
"For meritorious achievement while participating in aerial flight as a bombardier of a B-25 type aircraft during an attack upon a railroad viaduct near Vada, Italy, on 28 May 1944, which resulted in the complete destruction of this vital link in enemy communication lines. Lieutenant Voelker's proficiency in combat reflects great credit upon himself and the Military Service of the United States".

*****First Lt. Joseph M, Voelker was killed in action over Italy near Milan, Oct. 3, according to word received by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph A. Voelker of 7815 Narrows Ave. and his wife, Geraldine, in Fresno, Cal.
The 27-year-old bombardier-navigator, who wore the Air Medal with Cluster and a Unit Citation, was on his 54th mission with the 12th A. A. F. when downed. A graduate of Brooklyn Prep and Cornell University, Lieutenant Voelker entered service in February, 1941, receiving an assignment as armament and aerial gunnery officer. He wanted combat duty, however, and applied for bombardier-navigator training. He went overseas last April.******

57th Bomb Wing;

FAG - http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=42416586&rand=333

1LT. Joseph M. Voelker ~KIA~ 03 October 1944

1Lt Joseph M. Voelker was a Bombardier and Navigator with the 12th Air Force; 57th Bombardment Wing; 321st Bombardment Group; 445th Bombardment Squadron; stationed in the Mediterranean Theater of Operations, (MTO).

His Hometown was Brooklyn, New York.

Tuesday, 3 October 1944
445th BS Mission Summary (Ops Order 578/mission 578) Group Mission # 578: The 445th squadron ran into plenty of trouble today when they helped bomb the Galliate road bridge, Italy. This “hot” target is surrounded by a heavy network of anti-aircraft defenses and the accurate flak cost the squadron two aircraft, including Capt. Russell, the leader. “Ace” Russell was very popular with the men in the squadron. In the ship with him were Capt. Casaburi, navigation officer, and Lt. Daniel Galindo, an ace bombardier. The ship was seen to go down under control and the crew all bailed out safely. Lt. Frank also went down with his crew. His ship went into flames and its doubtful if any got out. Even with the intense and accurate flak, this squadron’s bombardiers got their bombs well concentrated in the target area with 100 percent bombing accuracy.

445th BS: Extracts from Missing Air Crew Report # 9028:

A/C B-25; Serial No. 43-27553; Plane Nicknamed: “Evora”

MACR-9028 – hit by flak, went down in flames

THE CREW:
P Frank, Robert R., 1Lt – KIA, buried in Florence, Italy
CP Reed, Donald C., 1Lt – KIA, buried in Florence, Italy
N None
B Voelker, Joseph M., 1Lt – KIA, buried in Florence, Italy
E Miller, Emmanuel (NMI), Cpl – KIA, buried in Florence, Italy
R Davis, Olin (NMI), Jr., T/Sgt – KIA, buried in Florence, Italy
G Bricen, Thomas J., Jr., S/Sgt – KIA, buried in Florence, Italy
F None

Eyewitness Accounts: Hatcher, Leon F., Jr., Capt, pilot, 445th BS

445th Bombardment Squadron (M) AAF
321st Bombardment Group (M) AAF
Office of the Operations Officer

APO 650 7 October 1944
AG-360.33 – Frank, Robert R. (0) and Crew.

SUBJECT: Missing Air Crew Report.

1. On 3 October 1944, after a raid on the Galliate Road Bridge (J-930673), Italy, aircraft 43-27753, B-25J received a direct flak hit in the left engine, causing and explosion and the left wing to fall away. The plane was seen to go down out of control and believed to have crashed into the ground at J-9268, just west of the target. There were no parachutes reported. The following observations were noted by various participants in the raid:

a. Sergeant Gerald M. Bertling, tail gunner in aircraft 44-28948, the right wing plane of the fourth element in the same flight in which the plane in question was flying, gives the following report of his observations:

“After we began our bomb run we encountered heavy, intense and accurate flak. A few seconds before the bombs were released, I saw two large pieces of metal fly past our element. I turned in time to see the left wing plane of the first element on fire sliding under the formation and losing altitude quickly. It began to spin and after it lost 3000 feet, one wing fell away and it began to spin faster. I saw the plane crash and burning a few miles from the target. I did not see any parachutes leave the plane.”

b. First Lieutenant Elwood F. McLaughlin Jr., pilot of aircraft 43-4008, flying on the opposite wing of the plane concerned, makes the following statements on his observations:

“Approximately four seconds before “bombs away”, Lt. Frank’s plane appeared to receive a direct flak hit in the left engine. The engine exploded and burst into flames. For a second, the left wing rose and then the plane slid off to the left. The entire left wing was burning when I lost sight of it.”

c. Staff Sergeant William A. Smith, tail gunner of aircraft 43-4008, flying on the opposite wing of the airplane in question, states as follows:

“Just before the bombs release point, I noticed a trail of flame coming from behind our left rudder. The next instant the aircraft came into view. The entire left side of it seemed to be engulfed in flames. Then the plane rolled over on its left side and started downward out of control leaving a trail of burning fragments. I did not observe any parachutes. We then went into a steep bank and I was unable to see the plane in question after we leveled off.”

LEON F. HATCHER, JR.
Captain, Air Corps,
Operations Officer
==
445th BS: Extract From: Graves Registration Documents - File No. A.V. 1518/45

Airbase-Headquarters E(v) 203/VII (Lonante) _____Oct. 4, 1944

Referring to: Supreme Command, File No. 2f 63 e P.O.W.s Subject : Dead Members of enemy airforces. (general (V)

To: Quartermaster-General and Commander in Chief SW

On October 3, 1944 about 14.10 enemy aircraft crashed burning, about 2.5 km north-east Trecate, Province Novara in Upper Italy, after hit by anti-aircraft. Army grid square map leaf 44 WL 9c.

One crew-member tried to save his life by bailing out. Because the chute already was burning, this crew member was killed, like the 5 crew-members who remained in the plane.

Place and time of interment: Crew was interred on October 5, 1944 on Cemetery of Trecate, Province Novara, Upper Italy.
Grave No. 50 Davis, Olin (NMI), Jr., T/Sgt, radio-gunner
Grave No. 51 Frank, Robert R., 1Lt, pilot
Grave No. 52 Miller, Emanuel (NMI), Cpl, engineer-gunner
Grave No. 53 Reed, Donald C., 1Lt, pilot
Grave No. 54 Bricen, Thomas J., Jr., S/Sgt, gunner
Grave No. 55 Voelker, Joseph M., 1Lt, bombardier

After the War, 1Lt. Joseph M. Voelker's Remains were returned to the U.S. for burial in his hometown, of Brooklyn, New York

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