Piligno, Rocco, SSgt

 Service Photo   Service Details
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Last Rank
Staff Sergeant
Last Primary AFSC/MOS
M 0611-Aerial Gunner
Last AFSC Group
Primary Unit
1944-1945, 394th Bombardment Squadron, Heavy
Service Years
1943 - 1945
Staff Sergeant

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

Home State
New Jersey
New Jersey
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by CMSgt Don Skinner to remember Piligno, Rocco, 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
Last Address
Guinaun Air Strip, Samar Island, Philippines

Casualty Date
Apr 30, 1945
Non Hostile- Died while Missing
Air Loss, Crash - Sea
World War II
Location of Interment
Manila American Cemetery - Taguig City, Philippines
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Tablets of the Missing

 Official Badges 

Meritorious Unit Commendation 1944-1961 (2nd Award)

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Association Memberships
World War II Fallen
  1945, World War II Fallen

 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar

Aerial Gunner Badge

 Unit Assignments
USAAF Training CommandAerial Gunnery School5th Bombardment Group, Heavy394th Bombardment Squadron, Heavy
  1943-1943, USAAF Training Command
  1943-1943, M 0611, Aerial Gunnery School
  1944-1945, 5th Bombardment Group, Heavy
  1944-1945, 394th Bombardment Squadron, Heavy
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1944-1944 Asian-Pacific Theater/Air Offensive Campaign Japan (1942-45)
  1945-1945 Asian-Pacific Theater/Western Pacific Campaign (1944-45)
 My Aircraft/Missiles
B-24 Liberator  
  1944-1945, B-24 Liberator
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
Rocco Piligno was born in Camden, New Jersey in 1921, the youngest of 5 children born to John and Mary Piligno. He attended Hatcher Junior High School where he was an all-round athlete, playing soccer, football, baseball, basket ball, and running track. He was a member of the Science club and served as manager of the track team.

He then went to Woodrow Wilson High School where he graduated in February, 1940. He was drafted on July 30, 1943. After basic training, he received training and qualified as a crew member on a B-24 aircraft.

By 1944, he was with the 394th Bomb Squadron of the 5th Bomb Group. On April 30, 1945, the B-24 commanded by Lt. Benjamin Whiteker, with SSgt Rocco Piligno as a crew member, was alerted for a mission to bomb Japanese targets at Davao on Mindanao Island in the Philippines.

The mission was a success in that the target was bombed. On the return trip, the B-24 collided with another in the formation, and all crew men were killed as the aircraft crashed into the ocean.

SSgt Rocco Piligno is memorialized on The Tablets of the Missing at the American Cemetery in Manila. His name is also on the Camden, New Jersey World War II Memorial.
The incident of the crash, events leading to it, and a complete crew roster is listed in detail on the Remembrance profile of 1 Lt Benjamin R. Whiteker, and will not be repeated here.
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