Last Known Activity
According to his enlistment file, Louis F. Patriquin was born in Lake County, California in 1908. Nothing related to his early life or parentage has been located.
He enlisted as a private in the Army Air Forces on December 21, 1941 in Los Angeles, California. He had completed 4 years of high school, and was a semi-skilled worker in prepared productions .
Patriquin received training as both a flight engineer and as an aerial gunner. He was assigned to the 301st Bomb Group, and deployed to England in 1942. He flew missions over Europe, mainly France, with the Hair crew. He was wounded in action on a mission to Lille, France in October, 1942.
The 301st Bomb Group transferred some of its aircraft to North Africa in November, 1942. The Hair crew was one that was involved. On March 22, 1943, the crew flew a mission against Palermo, Sicily harbor, seeking to destroy the docks and shipping within the harbor.
The aircraft was hit by flak in the left wing, setting the fuel tank ablaze. The fire spread to the interior of the plane, and while it was being fought, the aircraft violently exploded, killing 5 of the crew. At least two were injured in the blast, and made successful parachute landings, but were captured by the Italians. The Italians ignored the prisoner's wounds, and after three days, German medics attended them at a facility on Trimponi Air Field before shipping them to a POW camp.
The body of Patriquin was supposedly buried in a local cemetery before being recovered and moved to an American cemetery, He now lies in the Sicily-Rome American Cemetery in Plot E, Row 2, Grave 29.
NARA Enlistment Records
TSgt Louis Patriquin was the assigned flight engineer and top turret gunner on B-17F #42-5179, named "Junior," assigned to the 352nd Bomb Squadron.
Missing Air Crew Report 16153 was prepared for this loss. Mission loading lists show the crew was composed of"
1 Lt James M. Hair p
1 Lt Lonnie L. Miers, Jr. c-p
1 Lt Alexander Yonych nav
1 Lt Emmet Cook bomb
TSgt Louis F. Patriquin eng/tt gun
Sgt Ervin E. Byrnes r/o
SSgt Andrew Seman btg
Sgt Jimmie McLaughlin wg
SSgt Douglas Upton tail gun
Ranks and grades as of mission date.
In the crew photo of "Holy Joe" in England, 1942, Patriquin is 5th from left.