Geschichte der
B-17 #42-102648 / BTO of ETO

Delivered Cheyenne 23/3/44; Kearney 13/4/44; Grenier 28/4/44; Slated 447BG, Assigned 349BS/100BG [XR-L] Thorpe Abbotts 21/4/44; Missing in Action Berlin 24/5/44 with Bob Roeder, Co-pilot: Paul Lammers, Navigator: Claud Robison, Bombardier: Milton Grabel, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Wade Eason, Radio Operator: Frank Goldstein (6 Killed in Action); Ball turret gunner: Natham McElroy{Wounded in Action}, Waist gunner: Fred Cebalo{Wounded in Action}, Waist gunner: Bill Poklemba{Wounded in Action},Tail gunner: Tony Lombardi (4 Prisoner of War); enemy aircraft, crashed Suelfeld, near Kaltenkirchen, Ger. Missing Air Crew Report 5172. BTO of ETO.

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  1. von Christopher Gruner am 14. Januar 2019 21:32 Uhr

    My father-in-law, William Poklemba, was a waist gunner on B-17 42-102648, shot down over Kaltenkitchen/Holstein on 24 May 1944.
    He told me he was captured, then interrogated by a German pilot who may have shot his B-17 down.
    Bill came back home just over a year later. He returned to his career as a policeman in Fairfield, CT and retired in the Seventies.
    He was a quiet, unassuming and religious man who truly loved his country and his family.
    Bill had a good life, with a loving wife and two children, including my wife, Jeanne. In his later years he and his wife Betty lived with us until they both passed away in 2002.


  2. von David Cebalo am 03. September 2019 8:05 Uhr

    My father, Fred Cebalo, was the the other waist gunner on 42-102648. Bill Poklemba was his best friend on the crew. When I was a kid, Dad, Bill, and Tony Lombardi (tail gunner) would have a conference call ever May 24th.

    I recently digitized my dad’s WWII scrapbook, which includes letters from Betty to my grandmother, while the boys were missing and in prison camp. Perhaps I have some pictures and letters your family would find of interest, and vice versa.

    We lost our dad in 1988.


    • von Chris Gruner am 11. November 2019 18:02 Uhr


      Somehow the email with your blurb about your dad and Bill Poklemba (my father-in-law) stayed hidden in my laptop until today.

      I have a clear picture of their B-17 the day after it crashed on the ground in Germany. If you would like it, please contact me once again.

      Sorry for the delay in my reply!
      Chris Gruner


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