To All: For those of you who attended the San Diego Conference, you may
remember this story.
A couple of years ago Kathleen Piatek, an AWON member in Wisconsin asked me
to research the fate of her father who died near Bolzano , Italy when his
B-17 was shot down while bombing the railyards.
In due course I submitted my report and also put her in touch with some
surviving members of her father's crew. Last year, on Memorial Day, Kathleen
and her father were featured in a long article in a Milwaukee, Wis Newspaper.
An NBC News Team working on a program for Tom Brokaw was in town, read the
article and contacted her. They wanted to feature her and her father in an
upcoming documentary on the Greatest Generation.
This interview led them to AWON and to me and they spent the day as I
conducted research into the fate of yet another long departed but not
forgotten warrior. Later, in an interview with the bombardier [ a retired
Walmart Executive] he mentioned that Lt Flannick, who was the copilot,
deserved an award because he stayed with the doomed plane to complete the
bomb run and permit the crew to bail out.
Recommendations for awards for WWII actions have been closed for years, but
one of our members reminded me that the law had been changed. I volunteered
to prepare a recommendation for a Silver Star Medal, the nation's third
highest valor award.
Several surviving crew members contributed statements for the awards package
and the Bombardier tsubmitted it thru Senator Bob Graham to the Army, which
is the approving authority for WWII Army Air Corps award recommendations for
Silver Star and above.
The Army has now approved the recommendation and plans are being made for a
proper presentation. I am sending the citation to Rik so he can perhaps post
it on our members only web page.
NBC says they will try to schedule the documentary program over Memorial Day.
It was originally scheduled for Pearl Harbor Day but the election delayed
In Lt Flannick's memory this Easter,