STAFF SERGEANT JOHN J. STAINKER was born in New Jersey in 1922. His father passed away before April of 1930. The 1930 census indicates that in April of that year he was living at 615 Hunter Street, Gloucester City NJ, with his mother Charlotte Manduka Stainker, who supported the family as a dressmaker in a dress factory, grandfather father William Manduka, who still worked as a shipyard electrician at the age of 70, and siblings William, Charlotte M., and Helen, at 615 Hunter Street in Gloucester City NJ. At some point after 1930, his widowed mother married Paul Gebhart, a produce salesman who in 1930 lived at 217 Hudson Street in Gloucester City. John Stainker graduated from Gloucester High School in 1940, and worked at the RCA-Victor plant in Camden NJ until he entered the Army.
John J. Stainker enlisted in the United States Army on October 12, 1942. Qualifying for flight duty, he was assigned as a ball turret gunner to a bomber crew in the 328th Bomber Squadron, 93rd Bombardment Group, Heavy. He was stationed in Hardwick, Norfolk, in England. Flying in a B-24 Liberator bomber nicknamed "On The Ball", he was lost over France on January 7, 1944. He had last written home on December 30, 1943, and had enclosed his Air Medal with the letter.
An account of the downing of Staff Sergeant Stainker's plane, originally written in French and translated follows:
The last plane shot on January 7 was the bomber B-24 No. 42-40990 of the 93rd Bomb Group, 328th Bomber Squadron which fell near Brou. It was called "ON THE BALL". The mission of the B-24 was to bombard the city of Mannheim near Ludwigshafen to bomb the Krupp factories. The planned route for round trip was a move to 150 km north of Paris. The move went normally taxable, but the return to deviate the route of the bombers who eventually went to the south of Paris.
crew was as follows:
The U.S. report states that the engines No. 2 and No. 3 were on fire, hit by projectiles and air fills with smoke. The bomber came out of formation. The pilot ordered the evacuation of the aircraft and the radio operator (Hite) or Del Guidice opened the cargo door. The engineer was the first to bail out, followed by the radio operator (at 7000 feet) and the others (the pilot jumped at 5,000 feet). The navigator, Harmon Smith jumped the last while the gunners were still in the air. Sgt Stainker was a prisoner of his turret and the two waist gunners, Elmer Kudej and Vincent Sweet tried to bail out but could not do so before the plane exploded near the ground. The three gunners were killed in the crash of the bomber.
The authorities of the time discovered three dead found in the wreckage of the aircraft and two or three parachutes were observed. They were not found and evaded capture. The three bodies were buried in the cemetery St. Chéron (Section No. 60) at Chartres on January 10, 1944 at the same time that the bodies of the airmen of the B-24 shot at Bouville.
Regarding the escape of the survivors, it seems that Jack Georges, the bombardier and Harmon Smith, the navigator were separated from the rest of the group surviving at their parachute jump. The two airmen found each other the following night. They were then met by the local resistance and then sent to Paris, to the house of M. Pierre Bietrix at 2 Bis, Rue de Monceau. However, while traveling to Spain with the intent of returning to England, they were captured by the Germans and imprisoned in a prisoner of war camp until July 1945.
For their part, Bickley, Del Guidice, Walters and Hite were supported by the local resistance of Brou, led by M. Maurice Voulizaud. 15 days after the crash, the pilots were in Paris then escaped from France via Spain. They returned to England in March 1944.
John J. Stainker was survived by his mother Charlotte Manduka Stainker Gebhardt, of 217 Hudson Street, Gloucester City, and his siblings. His mother was the President of the Gloucester City Mothers Service Club at the time of his death. His death was reported in the evening edition of the Camden Courier-Post on March 23, 1943. His brother William was with the Army in England, another brother, Earl, was also serving as a gunner in the Army Air Corps, in South America.
This monument is at the 93rd
Bombardment Group Museum
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neat B-24 stuff!
|Pilot||Charles W. WALTERS||Lt||0-797208||Evade|
|Co-pilot||BICKLEY JM||2nd Lt||0-745039||Evade|
|Browser||SMITH Harmon Jr.||2nd Lt||0-801042||Evade|
|Bombardier||Jack D. GEORGES||2nd Lt||0-729463||Evade|
|Mechanic||Louis E. del Guidice||T / Sgt||31168760||Evade|
|Radio operator||Carl E. HITE||Sgt||15330283||Evade|
|Gunner||Vincent S. SWEET||S / Sgt||32255810||Killed|
|Gunner||KUDEJ Elmer||S / Sgt||35316181||Killed|
|Gunner||STAINKER John J.||S / Sgt||13125583||Killed|