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First Name: Edwin

Last Name: Koczera

Birthplace: USA

Gender: Male

Branch: U.S. Army Air Forces (1941 - 1947)

Home of Record: MA
Middle Name: J.

Date of Birth:

Date of Death: 08 March 1945

Rank: Second Lieutenant

Years Served:
Edwin J. Koczera

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)


Edwin J. Koczera
Second Lieutenant, U.S. Army Air Forces

In March 1945, Second Lieutenant Edwin J. Koczera was serving as a navigator with the 758th Bomb Squadron, 459th Bombardment Group (Heavy), 304th Bombardment Wing, 15th Air Force, U.S. Army Air Forces, based at Giulia Airfield, Italy. The 459th Bombardment Group flew B-24 Liberator bombers on missions in Italy, France, the Balkans, Austria and Germany.

On 8 March 1945, 2LT Koczera was the navigator of B-24L Liberator bomber Serial Number 44-49311 that was on a mission to bomb a target at Nové-Zámky, Hungary. [Missing Air Crew Record (MACR) 12916.] The aircraft had a crew of 11.

MACR 12916 reports that the aircraft was last sighted at about 1400 hours by FO Stanley L. Weirback and he saw no parachutes. Although MACR 12916 does not state any specific details, it was later learned that the aircraft crashed. One of the crew members, navigator 2LT Edwin J. Koczera, was Killed In Action. The remaining 10 crew members were captured as Prisoners of War (POWs) and were Returned to Duty (RTD) at the end of the war.

Medals, Awards and Badges

Purple Heart
Air Medal with Award Numeral 3
American Campaign Medal
European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal
World War II Victory Medal
Army Air Forces Navigator Badge

B-24L Liberator bomber Serial Number 44-49311 had the following crew members on 8 March 1945.

● Pilot: 1LT Stephen L. Kassa [Honoree Record ID 308868] POW - RTD
● Co-Pilot: 2LT Richard O. Wegert [Honoree Record ID 308869] POW - RTD
● Navigator: 2LT Edwin J. Koczera [Honoree Record ID 204232] KIA
● Bombardier: 2LT Thomas E. Boyd [Honoree Record ID 308870] POW - RTD
● Engineer/Gunner: TSGT Joseph Nagrabski [Honoree Record ID 308871] POW - RTD
● Radio Operator: TSGT Thomas G. Hammond [Honoree Record ID 308872] POW - RTD
● Radio Operator: SSGT Robert S. Snyder [Honoree Record ID 308873] POW - RTD
● Ball Turret Gunner: SGT James H. Henderson [Honoree Record ID 308874] POW - RTD
● Waist Gunner: SSGT Frank J. Wade [Honoree Record ID 308875] POW - RTD
● Waist Gunner: SGT Bertrand J. Robinson [Honoree Record ID 308876] POW - RTD
● Tail Turret Gunner: SSGT Leo A. Evans [Honoree Record ID 308877] POW - RTD


Second Lieutenant Edwin J. Koczera is buried at the Sicily-Rome American Cemetery and Memorial in Nettuno, Provincia di Roma, Lazio, Italy.

[The information in this biography was derived primarily from various sections of the 459th Bombardment Group website at http://www.459bg.org/ and permission was granted for its use.]

Honoree ID: 204232   Created by: MHOH




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