100 BG. 349 Sqn U.S.A.A.F. B-17. 42-31051 2nd. Lt Koper
Operation: Berlin, Germany.
Date: 6th March 1944 (Monday 12.13hrs – last sighted)
Unit: 349 Squadron (100 Bomb Group)
Type: Boeing B-17G (“Goin Jessies”)
Code: EP – K
Location: North of Hannover
Base: Thorpe Abbotts, Norfolk.
Pilot: 2nd Lt Robert C. Koper 0-804460 Killed
Co Pilot: 2nd Lt Gordon C. Lien 0-755584 P.o.W.
Navigator:2nd Lt George H. Wing. Air Medal, Purple Heart. 0-692122 Killed
Bombardier: 2nd Lt Thomas O. Drinkwater 0-682066 P.o.W.
Radio/Op:S/Sgt. Michael J. Tanowigch Air Medal with Oak leaf cluster, Purple Heart.18058006 Killed
Engineer: Sgt. Charles P. Corea 32144962 P.o.W.
Ball Turrett: Sgt. Charles J. Luquette. Air Medal, Purple Heart. 18226230 Killed
Right Waist: Sgt. Ralph V. Zarzecki. Air Medal, Purple Heart. 33425880 Killed
Left Waist:Sgt. Arthur Frankel 12191378 Killed
Tail: Sgt. Bernard Sundin 39202524 Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
Transcriber’s Notes Regarding This MACR: When this crew joined the 100th 24 Feb 44 the ROG was T/Sgt Weston H. Rodkey. On 6 MAR 44 T/Sgt Michael J. Tanowigch, Original 100th from the Sammy Barr Crew #4 was flying in place of Rodkey. The crew with the exception of Tanowigch (On his second tour) had flown four (4) missions. Koper ordered the crew to bail out, remaining to fly the aircraft during the bail out and was alone in the aircraft when it exploded. Crew was flying “Goin Jessies” from the 351st Bomb Squadron on the Berlin Mission.
An un-identified eyewitness reported as follows: “At 1213 hours north of Hanover an aircraft which may have been No: 051 was attacked by enemy fighters and was shot down. Four or five chutes were seen. This sighting is not definitely identified as No: 051 – it could have been No:170.”
B-17 “Goin Jessies” (courtesy 100th Bomb Group Foundation)
Above left: Robert Koper with his wife. Right: Part of the crew, Robert Koper centre with Wes Rodke and Charles Corea (courtesy 100th Bomb Group Foundation)
2nd Lt Robert C. Koper No details, probably body returned to U.S.A. for family burial. From Wisconsin U.S.A.
2nd Lt George H. Wing. Ardennes American Cemetery, Nr Neupre, Liege, Belgium Plot A. Row 20. Grave 4, From New Hampshire, U.S.A.
S/Sgt. Michael J. Tanowigch. Ardennes American Cemetery, Nr Neupre, Liege, Belgium Plot B. Row 35. Grave 33, From Michigan, U.S.A.
Sgt. Charles J. Luquette. Ardennes American Cemetery, Nr Neupre, Liege, Belgium. Plot B Row 31 Grave 41. From Texas, U.S.A.
Sgt. Ralph V. Zarzecki. Ardennes American Cemetery, Nr Neupre, Liege, Belgium. Plot B Row 31 Grave 46. From Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
Sgt. Arthur Frankel. No details, probably body returned to U.S.A. for family burial. From New York, U.S.A.
Sgt. Bernard Sundin. Ardennes American Cemetery, Nr Neupre, Liege, Belgium. Plot C Row 8 Grave 3. From Washington, U.S.A.
Further information on American War deaths.