AMERICAN BATTLE MONUMENTS COMMISSION
World War II Honor Roll

John Arthur Sainio Jr.

Corporal, U.S. Army Air Force

13152875

 

Entered the Service from: New Jersey
Died: December 17, 1944
Buried at: 
Awards: Purple Heart; Air Medal

CORPORAL JOHN ARTHUR SAINIO JR. was born in 1924 to J. Arthur and Hilda Sainio. The Sainio's had both come to America from Finland, and met and wed in America. J. Arthur Sr. was a carpenter, and in 1920 the Sainios lived with there daughter Aili at 2529 Hancock Street in Philadelphia PA. The family moved to New Jersey, and by 1930 they had bought a home at 18 2nd Street in Brooklawn NJ. ,

John Arthur Saimio Jr. was a graduate of Gloucester (NJ) High School, he had worked for the Pennsylvania Railroad prior to enlisting in the Army Air Force in November of 1942. Once qualifying for flight duty, he qualified as in aerial gunnery and as a flight engineer.

Corporal Sainio was serving as right waist gunner aboard the B-24J 42-50953 "Flying Finger" of 765th Bomb Squadron/461st Bomb Group on December 7, 1944. The aircraft was shot down by fighters while on a bombing raid against oil refineries at Odertal, Germany, crashing 8 miles southwest of Kutzendorf, Czechslovakia. Besides Corporal Sainio, tail gunner Sgt. Bernard Freeman, the ball turret gunner, and the left waist gunner went down with the plane. The other six crewmembers bailed out and were captured by German ground forces.

Corporal Sainio was reported as missing in action over Germany on December 7, 1944. His death was confirmed shortly thereafter/


Camden Courier-Post - June 10, 1938

Left to right front row: Sainio Jr., John;  Freeman, Bernard C.; Geier, Leonard G.; White, William C. (BG); Barnson, Valden A.; Eidsmore, Lawrence M.

Back row: Hanley, Hugh H.; McLain, Mac; Kreps, Earl W.; and Crossman, Philip J. (P)

The above information is from Kathy White Glisson, niece of William C. White.

Attached is a photocopy picture of 461st Bomb Group, 765th Squadron, Crew # 5993, "The Flying Finger" Captain: Philip J. Crossman.

AAF# Type Group Sq Sq# Nickname
42-50953 B-24J 461 765 Unknown Flying Finger

PILOT:    2Lt Phillip J. Crossman, Lima, Ohio, Single

MISSIONS:    10

LAST SIGHTED:    1145, Muglitz

DOWN:    1200

WHERE:

8 miles sw of Kutzendorf, CZ (CZ Police)

2km south Neutitso-Neutitschsin?Machrisch, Welke

Weisengard, Kutzendorf, CZ. Mahr. Northern border of CZ. 20 minutes from IP 4-bodies in wreckage.

The "Flying Finger" was flying number three position.  (Capt. Robert T. Chalmers was flying number two position.)  Capt. Jack Riley (gunnery officer 0560800) was in upper turret when B-24 left formation.  According to Chalmers the formation was hit by 50 plus fighters in the Muglitz area.  Sgt Bernard C. Freeman, tail gunner on "Flying Finger" said, "Got him!", but sounded like he himself was hit bad.  Freeman shot down an ME-109.  Ball turret was up at time of fighter attack.  Crew unable to get it into action before order to bail out came.  Enemy fighters criss-crossed underneath the bomber almost at will.  "Tail shot up bad, controls were very bad.  Ship in very bad shape."  Navigator said, "I gave him (Crossman) a heading to fly towards the Russian lines, then the interphone went out."  Aircraft riddled, went down fast."  Crew started to bail out at 22,000, last one out at 1,500.  Ball, tail, both waist gunners went in with bomber.  Most of crew rounded up by Germans at 2PM, Crossman wasn't captured until 950AM 12/18/44.

 


The American Flyers Memorial
kept by the people of Hostasovice, Czech Republic

Thanks, America !

Memorial Plaque

V neděli 17.prosince 1944 se na tomto místě zřítil americký bombardér
B-24 J LIBERATOR S.N. 42.50953 - THE FLYING FINGER - 49.BOMB.WING 461.BOMB.GROUP 15th US.ARMY AIR FORCE.

ZAHYNULI ZDE TITO ČLENOVÉ POSÁDKY:

LT. WAIST GUN,     BARNSON, VALDEN A.
BALL. TUR. GUN,   WHITE,WILLIAM C.
RT. WAIST GUN,     SAINIO, JOHN A.
TAIL TUR.GUN,       FREEMAN, BERNARD C.

PADLI, ABYCHOM MOHLI ŽÍT


On Sunday, December 17th, 1944 the American Bomber
B-24 J LIBERATOR S.N. 42.50953 - THE FLYING FINGER - 49.BOMB.WING 461.BOMB.GROUP 15th US.ARMY AIR FORCE
crashed on this place.
Following crew members died on this place:

LT.WAIST GUN,     BARNSON, VALDEN A.
BALL.TUR. GUN,   WHITE, WILLIAM C.
RT.WAIST GUN,     SAINIO, JOHN A.
TAIL TUR.GUN,      FREEMAN, BERNARD C.

ONLY DEAD HAVE SEEN THE END OF WAR- PLATO


Flying Finger Crew

Left to right front row: Sainio Jr., John;  Freeman, Bernard C.; Geier, Leonard G.; White, William C. (BG); Barnson, Valden A.; Eidsmore, Lawrence M.

Back row: Hanley, Hugh H.; McLain, Mac; Kreps, Earl W.; and Crossman, Philip J. (P)

 

Památník padlým americkým letcům u obce Palačov, nedaleko od Hostašovic
Memorial of American flyers died by airplane crashing in Palacov, near to Hostasovice 

Memorial View

 

 

Po celých 41 let komunistického režimu pečovali čeští lidé o tento památník nehledíce na možné postihy ze strany komunistického režimu.

 

 

All the 41 years of communistic system the Czech people cared for this memorial apart from possible infliction of communistic system. More information about this bomber crashing will be here very soon

About the town of Hostasovice       *       About the Plesek Family        


Thanks to David Wright of Oaklyn NJ for his help in constructing this page.

Thanks to Metodej Plesek of Hostasovice in the Czech Republic,
for his information about the American Flyers Memorial kept by the people there.


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