CAMDEN, NEW JERSEY
TECHNICAL SERGEANT JOSEPH S. ZIPPILLI
Technical Sergeant Joseph S. Zippilli
On October 18, 1943 Joseph S. Zippilli was assigned to the 766th Bomb Squadron, 461st Bomb Group, as a gunner and flight engineer, with the rank of Technical Sergeant. He was a member of the 461st Bomb Group's Crew 49. The Group began flying missions from a base in Italy in April of 1944. On the seventh mission, April 13, 1933, his plane, piloted by 2nd Lt. Paul S. Mowery, was damaged and the crew forced to bail out.
The mission was to bomb the Duna Tokol Aircraft Components Factory at Budapest, Hungary. On this mission a total of 58 enemy aircraft were seen. Several encounters were experienced, three enemy planes were destroyed and three more claimed as probable. Twin-engine enemy airplanes fired rockets at the formation. Single engine enemy airplanes flew parallel with the Group at a safe distance and radioed headings, altitude, and air speed to their ground installations. Flak over the target was intense, accurate, and heavy. Two bombers were lost over the target. 1st Lt. Charles W. Bauman, flying the deputy lead position in “A” Flight of the second Section, had part of a wing shot off by flak. His plane fell into the plane in the number 4 position of the same flight, which was piloted by 2nd Lt. Paul S. Mowery. A third plane flown by 2nd Lt. Kay B. Steele, which had come off the target with the formation, failed to return to the base. Colonel Glantzberg, who was flying as co-pilot in a plane in the second Section, led a small formation of planes in chasing attacking JU-88s away from this damaged plane. He was unable, however, to stay with the plane because of an undercast. Fifteen planes were damaged over this target.
Technical Sergeant Zippilli and eight others of his crew bailed out were captured.
“I was assigned a B-24 bomber whose mission was to bomb an airplane manufacturing plant in Budapest, Hungry. Then one of the planes in our formation got hit by anti aircraft fire, lost control of the plane and collided with us. So our officer in charge gave us the order to bail out of our aircraft. The nine of us were sent to Stalag Luft 3, a prison camp in Poland, where we stayed for nine months until the Russians came in. Then we were forced to march to Mousberg, Germany, to be transferred to Stalag 7A, where we were liberated April 29, 1945. In all, we were in captivity for one year and 16 days,” said Zippilli.
|Camden Courier-Post - June 14, 2010|
ZIPPILLI, Joseph S. On Sunday, June 13, 2010. Age 88 of Mount Laurel, formerly of Haddon Twp. Beloved husband of Kaye (nee Martz). Dear father of Stephen and his wife Kathleen (nee Foran) of Cherry Hill. Cynthia Zippilli of Collingswood, Joseph and his wife Karen of Ohio. Loving grand-father of granddaughters Carolyn Zippilli and Emily Zippilli and Nichole Larkin (Brian) and 2 great-grandchildren. Also survived by Loretta Wise and sisters, Lucia MacPherson and Anna Jardine. Brothers, Carmine, Vincent, and Gabriel and many nieces and nephews. Pre-deceased by parents Domenico and Rosa, sisters Assunta Agostini, Angeline Tomasetto, Natalie Fanelle, Mary Zippilli and brothers Dominic (Bob) and John. Joseph was born 2-2-22 in Devon, PA. and moved to Camden, NJ at age of 5 where he lived until age of 19 and then joined the United States Air Force. Joseph became an Engineer Gunner on a B-24 bomber. On April 13, 1944 on the Crews 7th mission, they encountered a mid-air collision. Joseph parachuted safely to the ground. Unfortunately, he was captured by the Germans and spent one year as a Prisoner of War. He was liberated on April 29, 1945 and was soon sent home to Camden and lived in South Jersey ever since. Joseph spent more than 10 years as Commander of American Ex-POW Chapter 2. During this time he assisted many veterans obtain their rightful benefits. Upon return from the War, Joseph was fortunate to work for RCA, Camden for almost 40 years as a timekeeper and eventually as Manager of Payroll. Relatives and friends of the family are invited to attend his viewing on Wednesday, June 16, 2010 from 7:00pm to 9:00 pm and on Thursday, June 17, 2010 from 8:30am to 9:30am in BOCCO FUNERAL HOME, 1300 North King Hwy., Cherry Hill, NJ. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Thursday at 10:00am in Christ Our Light R.C. Church, 402 North Kings Hwy, Cherry Hill, NJ. Interment Calvary Cemetery, Route 70, Cherry Hill, NJ.
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