John G. Krupinski (Krup) was born 8/17/20 in Mahwah, NJ, and drafted 9/12/42. He was a Sgt. in the 8th Air Force (92nd BG, 407 SQ.) as a B-17 gunner.
On the crew's fifth raid (10/14/43, Black Thursday) they 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 spotted no one the length of the fuselage -- just a lot of smoke. John thinks he was the last one out.
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.
After capture Krup 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 Stalag 17-B.
The rest of John's 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 (married 50 years). He retired after 43 years of service in the research lab of 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.