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The 344th bomb group: The story of Frank Carrozza and the Shopworn Angel

1. M.S. Science 38 years

2. Frank P. Carrozza T/Sgt  Army Air Corp Fall 1943 – Winter 1945

2a. On October 30, 2010, Frank Carrozza and nine other WWII veterans were awarded the Jubilee of Liberty Medal for participation in the D-Day Invasion. The medal was originally instituted by the French to thank members of the Allied Forces for liberating their country.

3. Born 1922 in NYC of immigrant parents spoke only Italian until Kindergarten

4. Uncles

5. Wanted to be a cowboy or Tarzan

6. Was a top student in French and Book keeping in Boody HS

7. He knew he’d be drafted so enlisted in AAC. They were aware of his office skills and offered a desk job. He turned it down. “I wanted to try something different.” He married his girlfriend from Coney Island, Lucy and went off to war.

8. Wedding picture

8a.Always in my Heart

9. His strict Italian father wrote him a letter of encouragement in Italian.

10. You might be interested to hear about another guy who served with my dad who choose to do something “different”

11. Speaking of the Ground Crew. Here’s what they gave Frank when he completed his final 65th mission.

12. A test in a pressure chamber disqualified him for the heavy bombers such as the B-17 so he was assigned to the medium bomber B-26

13. After basic training and special schools for gunnery and radio. He was especially good at Morse Code

14. In Barksdale Florida, crews were formed and trained together.

15. Frank and his crew flew a brand new B-26 by the Southern Ferry Route

16. Co-Pilot Harold Aiken remembers that flight.

17. On the way to England they stopped in Morocco. There were Italian Prisoners of War there. Frank and Santo both talked to the prisoners in Italian. Both had rings made by a prisoner with a picture of their “girl.

18. Frank arrived at the airbase in Bishops Stortford (Stansted) England just a few days before D-Day

19. What about his plane, the Shopworn Angel                Noseart

20. The First Crew:

Henry (Hank) Clay Woodrum, Pilot  I Googled his name and found a private pilot by the same name who turned out o be his son.
Irwin Randall Morgan, Co-Pilot
Carl Lee Griffith, Bombadier      POW treated poorly by Germans and Army Air Corps
Richard Eugene Burton, Radio-Gunner
Thomas Jacob Zagorski, Engineer-Gunner
Edwin Lockhart Hickey, Tail-Gunner    Daughter found letters her mom wrote to her missing first husband after her mom died. He was MIA for a long time. Includes Army Documents/Telegrams

21. Walkout Excerpt  How did I find Hank Woodrum’s Sons

22. Walkout Amazon

23. Confusion: Clay Belly Landed the Shopworn Angel  April 21, 1944

……. Woodrum gets shot down May 28, 1944.

……..Dad’s first flight in Shopworn Angel was June 3, 1944

How did my dad fly in a damaged and then shot down plane?

24. The Shopworn Angel was under repair so Woodrum got a different plane (see Y5-T MACR) that he got shot down in. Dad was then assigned to the refurbished Shopworn Angel.

25. Frank Carrozza’s missions from his mission log.

26. Mission Log: http://shopwornangel.imaginarynumber.net/flight-log/

Look at D-Day link

26a. This is it Dad, This is it Casey Hasey, This is it Colonel Witty

27. The 4th Infantry Division landed 21,000 troops on Utah at the cost of only 197 casualties. B-26 made foxholes with small bombs and destroyed gun implacements on the beach.

Omaha Beach had about 2000 casualties. The “heavies” bombed the roads and supply lines behind the beach. They did not create foxholes or destroy German implacents on the beach.

28. Casey Hasey: Casey Hasey was the bombardier on the Pathfinder plane for the D-Day mission. I think that makes Mr. Hasey a member of the very first bomber to participate in the D-Day invasion. Casey isn’t so sure of my claim. He does know that he dropped his bombs at 6:26 am. If anyone knows of an earlier drop, please let me know.

29. Casey’s book:

43. Frank flew his 65th and final mission; January 22, 1945 TARGET: RAILROAD BRIDGE LOCATED: SENZIG, GERMANY since their escort did not show up they flew over the bomb line to get credit for the mission and returned to the base.

44. In order to muster out of the service it was determined that Frank had not gotten credit for some basic marksmanshop course at basic training. The Army makes no exceptions so he was sent to a base with all the trainees to take target practise while wearing his hat complete with “50 mission crush”. This was a most envied condition caused by wearing your headset over the hat. The recruits kept saluting him, thinking he was an officer.

45. What about the Shopworn Angel? What became of it after Frank was finished with his 65 missions?

Moomaw eye witness.

MACR12344 (AAC Records)

Pilot: Captain Thomas Brennan
Co-Pilot: 2nd Lt F. LaFountaine
Engineer Gunner: Sgt. E. Monahan
Radio Gunner: Sgt. K.F. Pace
Tail Gunner: Sgt. W.A. Delavan

Bombardier: Lt. H.W. Zeust was finace to mother of Cheryl Vermey who found letters after he died othe info from Zesut’s sister.

46. Work, inspiration, and Luck (Needles jumping out of haystacks) (Don Moomaw)

47. Mr. Moomaw later found a picture he took of a S/Sgt Cornelius Vander Lugt. He died a day or two before the Shopworn Angel was shot down. This picture was a haystack needle found by a relative in Holland.

48. At a certain point my site started coming up high on the list if you google B-26, 344th BG, or 495th BS.

49. Dad kept a list of all the men on his base at the time. Once I posted this list, if the airman or his relative googles his name, my site comes up.

…………..Willard Delavan B-26

50. The war was over for Frank. He and wife Lucy went back to Brooklyn were the lived til 1952.

51. His first son, Frank Jr. was born in 1947.

52. I was born in 1952 and the family moved to the brand new community of Levittown when I was six months old.

53. Frank worked in a defense plant doing clerical work, of course. He had a few close friends.

54. Frank and Lucy added a daughter in 1955.

55. Another last minute daughter came in 1967. Mom was born in 1925. Do the math. Here is little sister, Nancie, with mom.

56. Lucy got breast cancer soon after Nancie was born. She remains a cancer survivor.

57. Frank died in May of 2011. He was always proud of his service and his family.

58. Lucy is now 90 years old and lives in a senior facility.

59. Soldier’s Daydream

 

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