Vince served with Army Air Corp during World War II in the 376th Heavy Bombarment Group flying missions from North Africa and later, Italy. Vince was my uncle and godfather. As a Tech Sergeant, he was radio operator and waist gunner in a B-24 Liberator bomber, flying 52 missions over Europe.
We can assume he saw his friends’ bombers being hit and going down, but as was his way, the story I remember best was when a flak (antiaircraft artillery) burst hit the side of his plane while he was manning the left side waist gun. It knocked him flat, and out cold. He woke to hearing the other gunner yelling “Poiesey’s dead, Poiesey’s dead”. He got up and found that his leather flight helmet was blown clean off. He didn’t have a scratch on him.
Vince was a member of a crew led by Alfred Goldis, First Lieutenant and pilot. The crew roster and photos are available at the 376 Bomb Group crew site.
Vince likely flew on more than one B-24, but we have photos of him in front of 2 B-24s – Bubbles, serial number 42-72892, and Idiots Dee-Light (which I could not track down). His pilot’s history includes a story about transporting Joe E. Brown to Casablanca. Among Vince’s photos is one autographed by Joe E. Brown, so one can surmise that he was on the trip.