Last Known Activity
Joseph J. Buschko was born in Pennsylvania in 1921, according to his NARA enlistment papers. No census data or parentage has been located. His next of kin declaration lists his mother, Mary of Pennsylvania.
He was drafted and inducted into the military service on July 21, 1942 at Fort Jay, New York. His enlistment forms state he had completed 4 years of high school, and was employed as a waiter.
He received training as a radio operator and was assigned to a unit located in North Africa. According to awarding of Air Medal traditions of the time, he completed at least 40 missions.
On January 21, 1944, he was assigned along with a crew to bomb the airdrome located at Salon De Provence, France. En route to the target area, the aircraft's #3 engine began smoking. The pilot dropped out of formation, and German fighters, sensing this as a straggler, attacked.
Machine gun and cannon fire hits seemed to register, and the aircraft, seemingly under control, began a slow, sweeping spiral until it ditched in the sea, some 20 miles south of Toulon, France. The crew was later seen in life rafts, on a course toward Marseilles, France, but were never seen again.
At first listed as Missing in Action, later the crew was declared dead. No remains were recovered, and all are remembered in various cemeteries.
TSgt Buschko is memorialized on the Walls of the Missing in the Sicily-Rome American Cemetery in Nettuno, Italy. There is also a memory stone for him in the Nanty Glo Cemetery in Nanty Glo, Pennsylvania.
NARA Enlistment Records
TSgt Joseph J. Buschko was the assigned radio operator on B-17F # 42-30472, not named, assigned to the 353rd Bomb Squadron.
Missing Air Crew Report 1952 was issued for this loss. Mission loading lists omits the name of one crew member, but with the MACR, identifies the crew as:
2 Lt Howard W. Ryan p
2 Lt Paul C. Peters c-p
1 Lt Alvin P. Goldstein nav
2 Lt Baldwin J. Krober bomb
TSgt Kenneth E. Canady eng/tt gun
TSgt Joseph J. Buschko r/o
Sgt Richard L. Chelminiak btg
SSgt Harley A. Kelly wg
SSgt James T. McBride tail gunner
Ranks and grades as of mission date.
TSgt Canady is omitted from the loading list in 301st Bomb Group records.