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fredo

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Posts: 15
Reply with quote  #1 

My uncle Lt. Emil Improta was a member of the 463rd Bomb Group and 773rd Squadron.  He was the co-pilot of B-17G 446190 that was lost over the Adriatic Sea on 12/10/44.  I have the missing crew report, but have never found any photos of his crew or airplane.  They were not shown in the original 463rd historian's publication.  Thanks for any leads or information. 


__________________
My uncle Lt. Emil Improta went down over the Adriatic Sea on 12/10/44. He was with the 463rd Bomb Group and 773rd Squadron. His B-17 was 44-6190. I would like to find a photo of his crew and ship. He was the co-pilot. Any information would be helpful. I do have the missing crew report. Thanks.
Swindy

Moderator
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Posts: 267
Reply with quote  #2 
Would you be willing to share a copy of the Missing Air Crew Report regarding the flight that mention?  I am trying to collect as many copies of MACR's as possible for the 463rd archives? 

If you would be willing to make copies of it, I will reimburse any mailing expenses to send it to me.

My mailing address is:

Joel Swindlehurst
463rd Historian
PO Box 387
Hines OR 97738

I will look through my photo collection to see if I have any pictures of Emil Improta.  This may take some time as the photo collection is extensive.  I also have many photos of unidentified personnel as well that might include Emil but I would have no way of knowing if he is among them.

Perhaps if you would like to order copies of the 463rd Pictorial History CDs, Vol. 1 & 2 from the 463rd BG, PO Box 1137, La Canada CA 91012, you could look to see if you might be able to identify him among them.  The CD's cost $5 each.

I am currently working on Vol 3 and still accepting photos for inclusion in the collection.

Joel

__________________
Joel
463rd BG Historian
Proud son of 1/Lt Leroy J. Swindlehurst (1921-1950)
Navigator, 772nd Squadron
Joel@463rd.org
fredo

Registered:
Posts: 15
Reply with quote  #3 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Swindy
Would you be willing to share a copy of the Missing Air Crew Report regarding the flight that mention?  I am trying to collect as many copies of MACR's as possible for the 463rd archives? 

If you would be willing to make copies of it, I will reimburse any mailing expenses to send it to me.

My mailing address is:

Joel Swindlehurst
463rd Historian
PO Box 387
Hines OR 97738

I will look through my photo collection to see if I have any pictures of Emil Improta.  This may take some time as the photo collection is extensive.  I also have many photos of unidentified personnel as well that might include Emil but I would have no way of knowing if he is among them.

Perhaps if you would like to order copies of the 463rd Pictorial History CDs, Vol. 1 & 2 from the 463rd BG, PO Box 1137, La Canada CA 91012, you could look to see if you might be able to identify him among them.  The CD's cost $5 each.

I am currently working on Vol 3 and still accepting photos for inclusion in the collection.

Joel

__________________
My uncle Lt. Emil Improta went down over the Adriatic Sea on 12/10/44. He was with the 463rd Bomb Group and 773rd Squadron. His B-17 was 44-6190. I would like to find a photo of his crew and ship. He was the co-pilot. Any information would be helpful. I do have the missing crew report. Thanks.
fredo

Registered:
Posts: 15
Reply with quote  #4 

Would you be willing to share a copy of the Missing Air Crew Report regarding the flight that mention?  I am trying to collect as many copies of MACR's as possible for the 463rd archives? 

If you would be willing to make copies of it, I will reimburse any mailing expenses to send it to me.

My mailing address is:

Joel Swindlehurst
463rd Historian
PO Box 387
Hines OR 97738

I will look through my photo collection to see if I have any pictures of Emil Improta.  This may take some time as the photo collection is extensive.  I also have many photos of unidentified personnel as well that might include Emil but I would have no way of knowing if he is among them.

Perhaps if you would like to order copies of the 463rd Pictorial History CDs, Vol. 1 & 2 from the 463rd BG, PO Box 1137, La Canada CA 91012, you could look to see if you might be able to identify him among them.  The CD's cost $5 each.

I am currently working on Vol 3 and still accepting photos for inclusion in the collection.

Joel

Joel, I am not familiar with message boards, I will e-mail you.  Thanks, Fred Oakman. 


__________________
My uncle Lt. Emil Improta went down over the Adriatic Sea on 12/10/44. He was with the 463rd Bomb Group and 773rd Squadron. His B-17 was 44-6190. I would like to find a photo of his crew and ship. He was the co-pilot. Any information would be helpful. I do have the missing crew report. Thanks.
ttesta

Registered:
Posts: 2
Reply with quote  #5 
 

My uncle Joseph Testagrossa was also a member of the 463rd Bomb Group - 773rd Squadron and on that same B-17G tail number 44-6190, that was lost over the Adriatic Sea on 12/10/44.  I have the missing crew report MACR #10689, but have never found any photos of his crew or airplane, and can't seem to find much info about his time there. Some accounts have him listed in the 772nd instead of the 773rd, but most point to him being in the 773rd.

From the (few pages) of the Missing Aircraft Report, the plane was last seen over the Adriatic (see the asttachment) when it was lost in the clouds returning to Celone (near Foggia) from what was apparently a scrubbed bombing mission, since it was lost at 8:30AM they must not have gone much further than this before turning to return to the base, no one really knows what happened…lost in the clouds, it could have had a mechanical malfunction or the weather was bad because one eyewitness reported they veered right away from the Squadron….hard to know what exactly might have happened since the plane was never seen again.

Anyone know anything more?

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__________________
Tom Testagrossa

fredo

Registered:
Posts: 15
Reply with quote  #6 

Tom, you don't know me.  My name is Fred Oakman, and my uncle Emil Improta was KIA along with your uncle Joseph Testagrossa on 12/10/44 in B-17G #44-6190.

I got some promising news on Sunday that I want to share with you.  Our local PBS (Public Broadcasting Station) is airing a NOVA special Wednesday night 11/7/18 at 9 P.M. about a Department of Defense sponsored search for a B-24 called Tulsamerican and three deceased airmen in the Adriatic Sea. They were lost one week after our uncles' B-17. I hope that you are able to view it.  The article I read stated that in the course of investigating the B-24, the underwater archaeologist Brendan Foley and the director of the U.S. Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency Kelly McKeague received word of a downed B-17 in the area and conducted a reconnaissance dive.

 Here's hoping the aircraft is the 44-6190.  I am going to correspond with McKeague after I see the show and try to encourage him to look further into our plane's discovery and recovery.  Say a prayer, cross your fingers, or knock on wood.  Whichever helps. Sorry for your loss.  Fred.    


__________________
My uncle Lt. Emil Improta went down over the Adriatic Sea on 12/10/44. He was with the 463rd Bomb Group and 773rd Squadron. His B-17 was 44-6190. I would like to find a photo of his crew and ship. He was the co-pilot. Any information would be helpful. I do have the missing crew report. Thanks.
Swindy

Moderator
Registered:
Posts: 267
Reply with quote  #7 
Fred, I know this is long after the fact, but I have been dealing with health issues since last September and have not monitored tis site as I should have been.

What was the result of the PBS show?  Did they find anything about your uncle's plane?

That would be fantastic!!

I await hearing from you.

Joel

__________________
Joel
463rd BG Historian
Proud son of 1/Lt Leroy J. Swindlehurst (1921-1950)
Navigator, 772nd Squadron
Joel@463rd.org
fredo

Registered:
Posts: 15
Reply with quote  #8 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Swindy
Fred, I know this is long after the fact, but I have been dealing with health issues since last September and have not monitored tis site as I should have been.

What was the result of the PBS show?  Did they find anything about your uncle's plane?

That would be fantastic!!

I await hearing from you.

Joel

__________________
My uncle Lt. Emil Improta went down over the Adriatic Sea on 12/10/44. He was with the 463rd Bomb Group and 773rd Squadron. His B-17 was 44-6190. I would like to find a photo of his crew and ship. He was the co-pilot. Any information would be helpful. I do have the missing crew report. Thanks.
fredo

Registered:
Posts: 15
Reply with quote  #9 
Joel.  I am glad I checked your site recently.  I have to admit, I am not on it often. Sorry to hear you were not feeling well.  Hope you are better now.  I appreciate all you do for your extended 463rd family.

Anyhow, I watched the PBS Nova production and learned immediately that the show was about a B-24 Liberator that was discovered at the bottom of the Adriatic.  The show was actually called the "Last B-24".  It showed underwater archaeologist Brendan Foley's efforts to locate and identify missing B-24 Tulsamerican and three crewmen  who went down on 12/17/44 (one week after my uncle) in the Adriatic Sea. The plane was actually discovered by the Department of Defense in 2010 off the coast of Croatia in 135 feet of water. They started to investigate in conjunction with the Croatian Navy and underwater archaeologists in 2017. It was certainly a complicated and delicate situation, much more so than I realized. They confirmed the plane, and were pretty sure they identified one of the KIAs.   

As a result, I drafted a letter to Mr. Kelly K. McKeague of the Department of Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency Public Affairs at the Pentagon, and sent it on 11/08/18. I asked if there was any information on the fate of B-17 #44-6190 of MACR #10689, and if his Agency could try to determine if it was recoverable.  

Despite leaving numerous means to contact me, I have yet to hear anything back.  I may try to start a little lower in the chain of command the next time I make the inquiry.  

If I make any progress, I will certainly let you know. Take care, Fred Oakman  

__________________
My uncle Lt. Emil Improta went down over the Adriatic Sea on 12/10/44. He was with the 463rd Bomb Group and 773rd Squadron. His B-17 was 44-6190. I would like to find a photo of his crew and ship. He was the co-pilot. Any information would be helpful. I do have the missing crew report. Thanks.
Swindy

Moderator
Registered:
Posts: 267
Reply with quote  #10 
Fred,
The first thing that I can offer is the name of the plane.  "Ferdinand" which I found out not too long ago.  I have no idea if there was nose art on the plane or not.  I will have to look through my archives of bomber photos to see if I have a photo of it.  I think I do (in flight) but will have to check to make sure.  

One other thing I would offer to do is to type up all Emil's missions which would include the date, target city, specific target, aircraft flown (he didn't always fly in Ferdinand), formation position and crew composition by position.  If you are interested in that information, I'd be more than happy to put it together for you.

Joel

P.S. And I assume you are aware of the Pictorial History CDs that are available to purchase.  Right now there is 4 volumes @ $5 each for a total of $20 (duh!!) If you are interested in them, let me know and I'll package them up and send them off to you if you left me have your address.  I'm in the process of putting together the 5th (and probably final volume due to lack of photos to include).  As soon as it is done, I will announce it on this page as well as on the Kids of the 463rd Facebook site.  Just drop me a note and I'll do as you wish.  

__________________
Joel
463rd BG Historian
Proud son of 1/Lt Leroy J. Swindlehurst (1921-1950)
Navigator, 772nd Squadron
Joel@463rd.org
fredo

Registered:
Posts: 15
Reply with quote  #11 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ttesta
 

My uncle Joseph Testagrossa was also a member of the 463rd Bomb Group - 773rd Squadron and on that same B-17G tail number 44-6190, that was lost over the Adriatic Sea on 12/10/44.  I have the missing crew report MACR #10689, but have never found any photos of his crew or airplane, and can't seem to find much info about his time there. Some accounts have him listed in the 772nd instead of the 773rd, but most point to him being in the 773rd.

From the (few pages) of the Missing Aircraft Report, the plane was last seen over the Adriatic (see the asttachment) when it was lost in the clouds returning to Celone (near Foggia) from what was apparently a scrubbed bombing mission, since it was lost at 8:30AM they must not have gone much further than this before turning to return to the base, no one really knows what happened…lost in the clouds, it could have had a mechanical malfunction or the weather was bad because one eyewitness reported they veered right away from the Squadron….hard to know what exactly might have happened since the plane was never seen again.

Anyone know anything more?


__________________
My uncle Lt. Emil Improta went down over the Adriatic Sea on 12/10/44. He was with the 463rd Bomb Group and 773rd Squadron. His B-17 was 44-6190. I would like to find a photo of his crew and ship. He was the co-pilot. Any information would be helpful. I do have the missing crew report. Thanks.
fredo

Registered:
Posts: 15
Reply with quote  #12 
Tom, This is Fred Oakman.  My uncle was Emil Improta, and he went down with your uncle Joseph Testagrossa.  I put 3 pictures on the web thread, and tried by the bulletin board to get information to you on 2 occasions.  I haven't had any luck, so maybe I was not navigating the thread properly.  So, I am trying this method.  Anyhow, if you get this, please check the thread under my user name fredo, and you will find 2 photos of the 46190 and our uncles' names listed on a 463rd memorial at their airbase in Italy.  Let me know if you have anything that may be of interest relative the crew, mission, or plane.  Thanks.   
__________________
My uncle Lt. Emil Improta went down over the Adriatic Sea on 12/10/44. He was with the 463rd Bomb Group and 773rd Squadron. His B-17 was 44-6190. I would like to find a photo of his crew and ship. He was the co-pilot. Any information would be helpful. I do have the missing crew report. Thanks.
fredo

Registered:
Posts: 15
Reply with quote  #13 

Tom, This is Fred Oakman.  My uncle was Emil Improta, and he went down with your uncle Joseph Testagrossa.  I put 3 pictures on the web thread, and tried by the bulletin board to get information to you on 2 occasions.  I haven't had any luck, so maybe I was not navigating the thread properly.  So, I am trying this method.  Anyhow, if you get this, please check the thread under my user name fredo, and you will find 2 photos of the 46190 and our uncles' names listed on a 463rd memorial at their airbase in Italy.  Let me know if you have anything that may be of interest relative the crew, mission, or plane.  Thanks.   

 


__________________
My uncle Lt. Emil Improta went down over the Adriatic Sea on 12/10/44. He was with the 463rd Bomb Group and 773rd Squadron. His B-17 was 44-6190. I would like to find a photo of his crew and ship. He was the co-pilot. Any information would be helpful. I do have the missing crew report. Thanks.
fredo

Registered:
Posts: 15
Reply with quote  #14 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Swindy
Fred,
The first thing that I can offer is the name of the plane.  "Ferdinand" which I found out not too long ago.  I have no idea if there was nose art on the plane or not.  I will have to look through my archives of bomber photos to see if I have a photo of it.  I think I do (in flight) but will have to check to make sure.  

One other thing I would offer to do is to type up all Emil's missions which would include the date, target city, specific target, aircraft flown (he didn't always fly in Ferdinand), formation position and crew composition by position.  If you are interested in that information, I'd be more than happy to put it together for you.

Joel

P.S. And I assume you are aware of the Pictorial History CDs that are available to purchase.  Right now there is 4 volumes @ $5 each for a total of $20 (duh!!) If you are interested in them, let me know and I'll package them up and send them off to you if you left me have your address.  I'm in the process of putting together the 5th (and probably final volume due to lack of photos to include).  As soon as it is done, I will announce it on this page as well as on the Kids of the 463rd Facebook site.  Just drop me a note and I'll do as you wish.  


Joel, this is Fred Oakman (Lt. Emil Improta's nephew).  First off I want to thank you for all the help and information you have given me through the years beginning in 2007.  To remind you, since you have helped so many, you have provided me with the only two photos of the 46190 that my family has ever seen.  You also provided me with very detailed information on all 13 of my uncle's combat missions, including the one in which he and the entire crew perished.  Through your efforts, I have all 4 of the pictorial history cds that you created. Most recently, after re-viewing them, I discovered on disc #4 a photo of Lt. Leslie Avery with whom my uncle co-piloted 10 of his 13 missions. The two photos you had sent me were re-discovered by me on discs #2 and #4.  

I believe I sent you a some military correspondence of Emil's last mission subsequent to MACR #10689.  I thought I had the MACR, but don't.  Is it hard to get a copy? I would like to pursue that. 

I was able to take a flight on a B-17G in July of 2013 in Erie, Pa.  It was a restored flying fortress owned by The Liberty Foundation. The plane was the one used to represent the Memphis Bell in the movie made in 1990. I took Emil's photo and a list of all the crew members' names, and with the permission of the pilot, held them up in the cockpit and took a picture and said a prayer.

I have all 4 cd's, but would like to purchase another set for my brother.  I have the bomb group P.O. Box address in Hines, Or., if it is still current.  I will send the amount you need, just let me know.  I have a picture of Emil (shoulders and head in uniform) if you would like a copy for your next cd.  Thanks too for making me aware of the kids of the 463rd facebook group.

Thomas Testagrossa put a request out in 2013 about his uncle Joseph Testagrossa's last mission.  He was on board with my uncle when they went down.  I saw the post several years later and forwarded him pictures you had provided me, but he never replied.  I would like to contact him if the page administrator has the ability to arrange that.

Finally, once again you have amazed me by finding out the nickname of the 46190. "Ferdinand".  Hopefully that name provides more information on the plane and group.  You are not going to believe this, but my uncle Emil Improta's middle name was Ferdinand!! Could that mean that the plane's name was his suggestion? Family folklore told of a cartoon/book character prior to the war named Ferdinand the Bull. Emil and his younger brother Ferdinand (Freddie) were young then and were familiar with Ferdinand. So possibly if there was nose art on the plane, it might have been of a bull.    

Sorry for the rant, just wanted to express my appreciation, and am excited about your discovery of the nickname of the 46190.  Wishing you health and happiness,  Fred Oakman 19871 Talon St. Meadville, Pa. 16335

__________________
My uncle Lt. Emil Improta went down over the Adriatic Sea on 12/10/44. He was with the 463rd Bomb Group and 773rd Squadron. His B-17 was 44-6190. I would like to find a photo of his crew and ship. He was the co-pilot. Any information would be helpful. I do have the missing crew report. Thanks.
Swindy

Moderator
Registered:
Posts: 267
Reply with quote  #15 
Fred,
I can send you a copy of the MACR (my transcribed from the original version) and the original version, if you wish. Not much difference except  mine is easier to read but if vintage makes a difference, I can send both.

I'll see if I can get in touch with Thomas Testagrossa.  Perhaps we can put you two in touch with each other.  We'll see what I can do.

Keep after me on this, Fred.  I tend to get more distracted the older I get.  You can contact me also on the Kids of the 463rd Facebook site.  Just putting my name in there automatically sends me an email.

I'll be in touch as soon as I know more.

Joel

__________________
Joel
463rd BG Historian
Proud son of 1/Lt Leroy J. Swindlehurst (1921-1950)
Navigator, 772nd Squadron
Joel@463rd.org
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