Birbiglia, Charles J., Jr., SSgt

 Service Photo   Service Details
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Last Rank
Staff Sergeant
Last Primary AFSC/MOS
AAF MOS 755-Radio Operator, Army Air Force
Last AFSC Group
Signal (Enlisted)
Primary Unit
1944-1944, AAF MOS 755, 353rd Bombardment Squadron, Heavy
Service Years
1942 - 1944
Staff Sergeant

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

Home State
New York
New York
Year of Birth
Not Specified
This Military Service Page was created/owned by CMSgt Don Skinner-Deceased to remember Birbiglia, Charles J., Jr., SSgt.

If you knew or served with this Airman and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
Casualty Info
Home Town
Not Specified
Last Address
353rd Bomb Squadron
Lucera, Italy

Casualty Date
Mar 22, 1944
Hostile, Died while Missing
Air Loss, Crash - Land
World War II
Location of Interment
American Cemetery - Florence, Italy
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Plot A, Row 5, Grave 21

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Association Memberships
World War II Fallen
  1944, World War II Fallen

 Ribbon Bar

Aircrew Badge

 Unit Assignments
United States Army Air Forces (USAAF)301st Bombardment Group, Heavy  353rd Bombardment Squadron, Heavy
  1942-1944, United States Army Air Forces (USAAF)
  1944-1944, AAF MOS 755, 301st Bombardment Group, Heavy
  1944-1944, AAF MOS 755, 353rd Bombardment Squadron, Heavy
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1942-1945 World War II/European-African-Middle Eastern Theater
  1944-1944 World War II/European-African-Middle Eastern Theater/Anzio Campaign (1944)
 My Aircraft/Missiles
B-17 Flying Fortress  
  1944-1944, B-17 Flying Fortress
 Additional Information

Last Known Activity
According to his NARA enlistment file, Charles J. Birbiglia, Jr. was born in New York City in 1924. No parentage or census data concerning him has been located.

He enlisted at New York City on November 30, 1942, as a private in the Army Air Forces. His record states he had completed 3 years of high school, and was working as an unskilled laborer in a machine shop.

He received training as a radio operator, and was then assigned to a bomber unit at an advanced base in Italy. He flew at least 15 missions. On March 22, 1944, he was part of a crew that was assigned to bomb the railway marshalling yards at Verona, Italy. As the formation neared the target area, it was attacked by numerous enemy fighters. Eleven B-17s were shot down.

Observers throughout the formation told various tales of the engagement. One stated Birbiglia's aircraft has the #3 engine set afire. Another stated it was #4, and that the ship exploded. The MACR contains no details - just the notation "Ship Lost."

Actually, German records state they recovered 4 bodies from the wreckage, and captured the remaining 6 crew members. The dead were buried in Verona, and eventually retrieved by Allied forces as today SSgt Birbiglia lies in the Florence American Cemetery in Italy in Plot A, Row 5, Grave 21.
NAA Enlistment Records
Headstone Inscription and Interment Records Card


SSgt Charles J. Birbiglia, Jr. was the assigned radio operator on B-17G # 42-31660, not named, assigned to the 353rd bomb Squadron.

Missing Air Crew Report 3285 covers this loss. Mission loading lists show the crew on board as:

2 Lt Robert B. Lawrence  p
2 Lt Dudley A. Federau  c-p
2 Lt Eugene F. Harris  nav
2 Lt Raymond L. Anderson  bomb
TSgt Kenneth E. Zarder  eng/tt gun
SSgt Charles J. Birbiglia, Jr  r/o
SSgt James H. Figgat  btg
Sgt  Arvil M. Rockwall  wg
SSgt Aloysius A. Yurasha  tail gun
Sgt  Henry E. Gallagher  photo

Ranks and grades as of mission date.

Lawrence, Federau, Birbiglia, and Yurasha were killed; others were captured.

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