Last Known Activity
Matthew Lazarowicz was born in Newark, New Jersey on March 31, 1922 to Joseph and Josephine Lazarowicz ( Polish immigrants - name Americanized from Cazaorowicz.)
He was inducted into service on April 9, 1943 at Newark. His enlistment record states he had completed 4 years of high school, and was employed in a semiskilled occupation working with mechanical treatment of metals.
He was trained as a radio operator, and assigned to the combat crew of Lt Barrat. He flew 20 missions with this crew, starting on December 9, 1944.
The designated target on February 9, 1945 was the synthetic oil plant at Lutzkendorf, Germany. As the aircraft turned onto the bomb run, it was hit by another B-17 of the formation. The entire tail assembly was sheared off, leaving two large pieces of aircraft falling from the sky. The tail gunner managed to bail out and made a successful parachute landing, although he was captured by German civilians. They turned him over to the authorities, and he remained a POW until war's end.
The front section of the aircraft fell directly toward the small village of Eisenberg. Somehow gaining control of the piece of aircraft, the pilot and co-pilot steered it away from town and into an empty field. They salvoed the bobs there rather than risk letting them hit the town. The aircraft hit the ground and exploded.
German records reveal eight bodies were recovered at the crash site, with two being unidentifiable. Later, it was learned these were Barrat and Reiss. All the dead were buried in a local cemetery. After the war, Lazarowicz was returned for burial in the Holy Sepulcher Cemetery in East Orange, New Jersey. He lies in Plot L-1-1-20-1.
US Census 1930
Application for Headstone or Marker
Sgt Matthew Lazarowicz was the assigned radio operator on B-7G # 43-139149, no name, assigned to the 427th Bomb Squadron.
Missing Air Crew Report 12229 was issued to account for this loss. Mission loading lists show the crew as:
2 Lt Robert J. Barrat p
2 Lt Dean Harvey c-p
F/O Shirl P. Best nav
Sgt William T. Karp tog
Sgt Raymond F. Reiss eng.tt gun
Sgt Matthew Lazarowicz r/o
Sgt Louis N. Linhart btg
Sgt Herbert D. Link wg
Sgt George H. Emerson tail gun
Ranks and grades as of mission date.
Emerson was the only survivor.
In the crew photo, Lararowicz is in the back row, at left.