Rynkiewicz, Albin D., Cpl

 Service Photo   Service Details
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Last Rank
Last Primary AFSC/MOS
M 0611-Aerial Gunner
Last AFSC Group
Primary Unit
1945-1945, 867th Bombardment Squadron, Heavy
Service Years
1943 - 1945

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by CMSgt Don Skinner to remember Rynkiewicz, Albin D., Cpl.

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Casualty Info
Home Town
Last Address
Angaur Island, Palau

Casualty Date
May 04, 1945
Hostile, Died while Missing
Air Loss, Crash - Sea
World War II
Location of Interment
Long Island National Cemetery - Farmingdale, New York
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Section J, Site 13630

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

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

 Ribbon Bar

Aerial Gunner Badge

 Unit Assignments
United States Army Air Forces (USAAF)Aerial Gunnery School494th Bombardment Group, Heavy867th Bombardment Squadron, Heavy
  1943-1944, United States Army Air Forces (USAAF)
  1944-1944, Aerial Gunnery School
  1945-1945, M 0611, 494th Bombardment Group, Heavy
  1945-1945, 867th Bombardment Squadron, Heavy
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  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
Albin Daniel Rynkiewicz was born on March 1, 1918 in Nanticoke, Pennsylvania. He was the son of Peter Stanley and Mary Bykowska Rynkiewicz. Family history states he married Helen Wynda and had two children, Peter and Patricia. According to his NARA enlistment record, he was residing in Connecticut on December 7, 1943 when he enlisted in the Army Air Corps. It also states he had completed 4 years of high school, was married, and was employed in a skilled occupation of manufacturing.

After basic training, he received instruction as an aerial gunner. Upon completion of this course, he was promoted to Corporal and assigned to the 867th Bomb Squadron of the 494th Bomb Group. He arrived on Anguar Island in early 1945, and flew three missions.

On May 4, 1945, he participated in a bombing raid on anti-aircraft gun positions on Koror Island, another of the Palau Group. As the formation reached the target, flak was intense and accurate. On the bomb run, the aircraft was struck by a flak shell at the wing root, between # 2 engine and the fuselage. The wing peeled up and left the aircraft, which then went into a tight spin and crashed into the sea just off the island of Koror. The intact wing landed on a small island named Iheror.

Only one crew member managed to parachute out, and was captured by the Japanese and subsequently beheaded. All the bodies from the wreckage were buried in a grave next to the fuselage. In 1945, Graves Registration located this grave and removed the remains. Individual identification evidently was not possible, so all remains were returned to the U.S. They were buried in a common grave at Long Island National Cemetery in Farmingdale, New York. The grave location is Section J, Site 13630.

NARA Enlistment records


Corporal Albin D. Rynkiewicz was acting as tail gunner on B-24J # 44-42058, nicknamed "The Brief," assigned to the 867th Bomb Squadron.

Missing Air Crew Report 14351 identifies personnel on board as:

2 Lt Glen R. Custer     p
2 Lt Irwin R. Brown   c-p
2 Lt Wallace F. Kaufman    nav
2 Lt Norbert J. Giese    bomb
TSgt James R. Tenney    r/o
Sgt Richard F. Grimes    eng
Cpl Victor B. Wilson    nose gun
Cpl Irving Topp    top turret gun
Cpl Robert N. Shillenn    btg
Cpl Albin D. Rynkiewicz   tail gun
Sgt Floyd C. Bennett   passenger

There is a short clip of the actual hit and crashing of the aircraft in several spots on You Tube.

Lt Kaufman was the airman executed by the Japanese.

Service photo source:

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