DePuy Crew

Second from right, Standing: John Velker

  • DePUY, JR, John C, Pilot – KIA 19 Feb 45 DePuy
  • OKSENKRUG, Paul, Co-Pilot – KIA 19 Feb 45 DePuy
  • DENNIS, Alfred G, Navigator – KIA 19 Feb 45 DePuy
  • GERAMITA, Samuel S, Bombardier – KIA 19 Feb 45 DePuy
  • HODGSON, William R., Ball Gunner – KIA 19 Feb 45 DePuy
  • GATES, Howard L., Nose Gunner-KIA 19 Feb 45 DePuy
  • BRECKINRIDGE, Gilmer J, Right Waist – KIA 19 Feb 45 DePuy
  • PAUL, James L, Tail Gunner – KIA 19 Feb 45 DePuy
  • SANETTA, Emil, Left Waist – KIA 19 Feb 45 DePuy
  • VELKER, Jr, John J., Top Turret -KIA 19 Feb 45 DePuy

S SGT John Jacob Velker Jr.

John was the engineer of B 24 INSTABLE lost on February 19, 1945. I am the nephew of his widow, doing her final bucket list task. To honor John, and the entire 10 man MIA crew. In 4 months, a headstone will be erected in Johns name @Arlington National Cemetery. With this task, I am trying to find living relatives of ANY crew member, especially Velkers family for DNA. I have done my research, have followed their last radio posts, and feel I know where their plane is in the Adriatic. The US Naval Underwater Recovery Team is about to investigate this site. Any info, memories, and especially pictures would make my Aunts wait over. She had no answer for 70 years until I did my research, now we know what happened on their final flight.

Gy Sgt Ric Geist
Fort Wayne, IN

717th Squadron

717logoEdward J. Sass, Jr. was the origi­nal C.O. from June ‘43 to December ’44. Shelby McArthur became C.O. in December ‘44 and remained so until February ‘45. From February ‘45 to May ’45, Wilbur Parker was the C.O.

42-78195

A replacement ship received into the 449th on 1 May ’44. Downed with Depuy crew aboard on 19 February ’45 on mission against Vienna. 10 KIA. MACR 12452.

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