Last Known Activity
American Battlefield Monuments Commission states that Barili entered the service from Illinois. Controversy over the life story of Barili is just that - controversial. A NARA enlistment record, with name of Frank Barili, Jr.'s service number and the name "Frank Barili, Jr." on it is available at NARA, but several items do not check out.
For instance, this record states that Frank Barili, Jr. enlisted in San Antonio, Texas as an Aviation Cadet on Dec 9, 1944. ( Barili was killed in action September 3, 1944.) He was supposedly living in Illinois, but enlisted in Texas. I personally believe the file is corrupted by co-mingling data or a number of typographical errors.
A separate source indicates Barili attended and graduated from Tilden Technical High School in 1941. (Tilden Technical High School Yearbook, 1941.)
It is known from 100th Bomb Group personnel records that Barili arrived at Thorpe-Abbots on May 26, 1944, as a member of Lt John E. Woods crew, and flew 31 missions. He was assigned duty as a flight engineer and top turret gunner. This crew underwent modifications as they flew.
Lt Edward J. Mikol (bombardier, original crew) was removed for unknown reasons after the 27th mission. He was replaced by Lt John D. Goethel from the Stansbury crew crew after the August 14,1944 mission. SSgt Frank E. Yates was a waist gunner, and was wounded on June 7, 1944. Fill-in gunners were used in his position, until July 25 July 1944 when crew size was reduced to nine men. SSgt Carl Fong was replacing SSgt Clarence E. Wood at the ball turret position on the fatal mission.
On September 3, 1944, the crew was sent to bomb harbor facilities at Brest, France. Details once again vary. Some sources state mechanical trouble forced the aircraft down. Others state it was hit by flak, and #2 engine caught fire. As the aircraft began losing altitude, the pilot rang the bail-out bell, and at least 4 bailed out.
The aircraft continued to sink lower until it impacted the water and exploded. After approximately one hour, 3 of the crew were rescued by a British ship. No other remains were found, and all the missing crew is memorialized on the Walls of the Missing in the Brittany American Cemetery in Saint-James, France.
NARA Enlistment Records
SSgt Frank Barili was acting as flight engineer and top turret gunner on B-17G #42-97924, named "Party Tonight," assigned to the 350th Bomb Squadron.
Missing Air Crew Report 8843 contains details of this loss. Crew rosters and personnel files indicate the crew was:
2 Lt John E, David p
2 Lt John W. Simmons c-p
2 Lt Theron J. Stookesberry nav
2 Lt John D. Goethel bomb
SSgt Frank Barili eng/tt gun
SSgt Henry J. Hendrickson r/o
SSgt Carl Fong btg
Sgt Walter E. Potter wg
Sgt Francis J. Waldschmidt tail gun
Ranks and grades as of mission date.
Lt Goethel, along with Sgts Hendrickson and Fong were rescued. All others died.