GAETANO, FRANK R., Staff Sergeant, # 12096313, USAAF

 

Frank R. Gaetano was born 27 June 1922 in New York to John Pasquale Gaetano (1888-1946) (Italy) and Christine (Barone) Gaetano (1891-1982) (married 11 July 1908, Manhattan, NY). Siblings included Dorothy Philomena Gaetano (1909-2005), Jeanette Concetta Gaetano (1911-    ), Peter William Gaetano (1916-2006), John P. Gaetano Jr. (1922-1979), and James Gaetano (1926-2006). Living with them in 1940 were Peter’s wife and child: sister-in-law Blanche (Jaycox) Gaetano (1917-    ) and nephew Charles Edward Gaetano (1938-2002).

 

He enlisted in the USAAF in Albany, New York, on 7 July 1942. He was trained to maintain and monitor the mechanical systems (crew chief/engineer) on the B-24 Liberator. He earned his crewman wings. He was transferred through India to China. On 20 May 1944 a B-24J, # 42-73430, assigned to 14th Air Force, 308th Bomb Group, 373rd Bomb Squadron, Yankai, China, departed the airfield at Luichow, China, on a sea sweep combat mission. It was lost due to enemy anti-aircraft fire as it was attacking an enemy convoy in the South China Sea. He is remembered on the tablets of the missing in the Manila American Cemetery & Memorial, Philippines. He was awarded the Air Medal and the Purple Heart.

 

His brother, John P. Gaetano Jr., born 8 January 1922, served in the U.S. Navy from 11 November 1942 to 19 December 1945. He died 22 August 1979.

 

His nephew, Charles E. Gaetano, born 11 April 1938, served in the U.S. Navy from 22 November 1968 to 7 September 1979. He died on 15 November 2002 in Rome, Oneida Co., New York.

HOFFMAN, JAMES EUGENE, Staff Sergeant, # 33193703, USAAF

 

James E. Hoffman was born on 6 February 1921 in Washington, D.C., to George H. Hoffman (1902-    ) and Elsie Marie (Warner) Hoffman (1902-1989) (married 10 August 1919 in Washington D.C.). Siblings included David Kenneth Hoffman (1927-2006), George E. Hoffman (1929-    ), Francis F. Hoffman (1932-    ), Lois C. Hoffman (1933-    ), Mary Ann Hoffman (1936-    ), Ralph Amos Hoffman (1937-1991), and Herman A. Hoffman (1939-    ). Living with them in 1930 was his paternal grandfather, Thomas E. Hoffman (1871-1947) and grandmother, Annie Hoffman (1877-    ). He was married to Thelma Alberta (Gartrell) Hoffman, 1344 Potomac Ave, Washington D.C. His wife recorded him as a missing Jewish serviceman.

 

He registered for the WWII draft on 16 June 1942, employed by Caslon Press, resided at 1102 10th Street Southeast, Washington D.C., and described himself as 5’7”, 142 lbs, with brown hair and eyes. After enlisting in the USAAF at Fort Myer, Virginia, on 28 July 1942, he was trained to maintain and operate the radio equipment on the B-24 Liberator. He earned his crewman wings. He was transferred through India to China. On 20 May 1944 a B-24J, # 42-73430, assigned to 14th Air Force, 308th Bomb Group, 373rd Bomb Squadron, Yankai, China, departed the airfield at Luichow, China, on a sea sweep combat mission. It was lost due to enemy anti-aircraft fire as it was attacking an enemy convoy in the South China Sea. He is remembered on the tablets of the missing in the Manila American Cemetery & Memorial, Philippines. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal and the Purple Heart.