Received: PRISONER OF WAR MEDAL, PURPLE HEART, AIR MEDAL
after War: Technician
John G. Krupinski (Krup), born 8/17/20 in Mahwah, NJ, drafted 9/12/42.
Was a Sgt. in the 8th Air Force (92nd BG, 407 SQ.) as a B-17 gunner. On
their fifth raid 10/14/43 (Black Thursday) was shot down over
Schweinfurt, Germany. Their plane was crippled by flak and John and his
crew were ordered to bail out when it caught fire. ME 109 fighters
closed in on their crippled B-17 with 20mm cannons blasting away. John
was wounded by exploding shrapnel pieces (left side, rib cage and
hands). As he clamped on to his pack chute he noticed no one the length
of the fuselage Ė just a lot of smoke. John thinks he was the last one
out. After capture he was hospitalized at Hohemark Hospital in
Frankfurt. The 20 mm fragments were removed from his hip and buttocks.
Fragments from his hand were surgically removed at Lazaret Hospital at
Out of a crew of ten they lost three men: 1st Lt. William Bryne (NJ),
Sgt. John Carr (PA) and Sgt. Tony Gerhart (CA). Lt. Bryne sacrificed his
life assisting the Engineer, Bob Fisher, with his parachute because he
was severely wounded and unable to perform the task himself. Lt. Bryne
was last seen going back to the waist section to see if everyone got
out. The rest of Johnís crew bailed out and were picked up and held
prisoners at Stalag 17-B. They were liberated on 5/5/45. Bob Fisher was
repatriated earlier because of his badly injured knee.
John now resides in Mahwah, NJ, with his wife Ann (now married 50 years).
John retired after 43 years of service in the research lab of the Abex
Corp. He now plays golf, reads, and does physical fitness exercises. He
also attends many Stalag B-17 reunions as well as POW conventions.