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Posts: 2
Reply with quote  #1 
I am looking to find a crew list for Lt. Peter Joos's crew on 24 Mar 45 to Berlin. My uncle, F/O Joseph Molnar was the co-pilot on this flight.

Last week I was down to the Air Force Historical Research Agency at Maxwell AFB and have crew pictures from Carl Cassidy's 1946 book if anyone is interested. However, I did not see one in the book for Joos's crew.

Lt. John Delagarza was the Navigator; Lt. Emil Molkentine was the bombardier and Sgt Maurice LaFond was the ball turret gunner. According to Cassidy's book, Joos's ship was one of three to make it back to the base and the only one able to taxi back to it's hardstand. According to his book, it was so shot up it had to be scrapped.

Thanks - I'm a new member here.

Bob Molnar


Posts: 1
Reply with quote  #2 
Bob --

I recently received info about that mission:

Target was the Damlier Tank Factory in Berlin.
Aircraft was #42-97912, "Purple Heart Kid".

Pilot, Lt. Peter Joos
Co-pilot, Lt. Joseph Molnar
Navigator, Lt. John (Joe) De La Garza
Bombardier, Lt. Emil Molkentine
Top Turret Gunner/Engr., Sgt. Timothy O'Connor
Ball Turret Gunner,. Sgt. Maurice LaFond
Radio Operator/Gunner, Sgt. Charles Lowe
Right Waist Gunner, Sgt. Edwin Gillman
Left Waist Gunner, Sgt. Carl Parkinson
Tail Gunner, Sgt. John Glenn

My father was the navigator. Several years ago, I did locate Molkentine's son. Wounder uf we could find othet kids of that crew?

I do have a photo of the Joos crew. Do send along your mailing address, and I will send you a copy.

Best regards,
John De La Garza

Posts: 2
Reply with quote  #3 
Hi John,

Thanks for replying to my post. I was able to locate an obituary for Sgt. Edwin Gilman, the right waist gunner. THrough the obit I was able to get in touch with his son.

SGt. GIlman has passed on but not before leaving a YouTube account of the 24 Mar 45 mission as well as his recollection of bailing out during a 1944 mission.

Here is the link to his video. He starts talking about the 24 March mission about 20 minutes in.


This is like putting together a puzzle, but needing to find the puzzle pieces first.

My uncle, Joe Molnar passed away in 2007. He did not talk much or at all about what he did in the war. However, he left his WWII trunk filled with thousands of letters he wrote and received, his log book, a diary, uniforms, old Stars and Stripes newspapers, training manuals, aircraft and naval identification manuals, and a host of other materials and documentation. He flew 14 missions with various crews. It seems they bounced the co-pilots around quite a bit.

I have his diary entry for that mission and letters he wrote home about it. He mentions a crew picture at the plane the day after but did not have one in his trunk. I'd be happy to forward what I have to you if you'd like.

My email is:


Bob Molnar

Posts: 18
Reply with quote  #4 

hello, I'm interested in the flight of March 24, 1945, we were able to find fragments of B-17 44-6640 which collapsed in the village Černíkovice in Czechoslovakia. I was also connected with family members of crew members. I would like any information about this raid.
Thank you Jirka Živec-Czech Republic

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