ZIZLAVSKY, JOSEPH FRANKLIN, JR., First Lieutenant, Service # 0-664863, U.S. Army

Air Force

Joseph F. Zizlavsky, Jr., was born 10 July 1920, in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, to Joseph F. Zizlavsky (1884-1966) and Marie "Mary" (Smolka) Zizlavsky (1885-1963), both born in Czechoslovakia and immigrated to the U.S.A. In 1940, the family lived on Ogdon Avenue, Berwyn, IL and Joseph F. Zizlavsky owned a grocery store. Joseph Jr. enlisted 13 June 1941 (enlisted service # 16004859). After training as a bombardier (MOS 1034), he was sent overseas and assigned to a B-25 squadron - 491st Bomber Squadron, 341st Bomber Group, Medium, 10th Air Force. The 341st Bomb Group has a web site: www.usaaf-in-cbi.com/341st_web/. A personnel roster of the 491st Bomber Squadron is at: www.usaaf-in-cbi.com/341st_web/, select link to 491st Squadron roster. The roster includes Zizlavsky as "Ziglovsky, Joseph" and lists him as KIA. The 491st Bomber Squadron was located at New Malir Air Base, Karachi, India.

The crew of B-25D, Tail # 41-30367, was comprised of these crewmen, some of whose remains were also lost in the Bay of Bengal crash of the Graves Registration C-47B: 2nd.Lt. Burdette H. Baker, pilot, 2nd.Lt. Paul J. Simonic, co-pilot, 2nd.Lt. Charles H. Redd, navigator, 1stLt Zizlavsky, bombardier, SSgt Joseph B. Terewicz, engineer-gunner, SSgt Marvin A. Buchfuhrer, radio operator-gunner, and SSgt John Murphy, armament gunner, on December 20, 1943. Zizlavsky was the bombardier. It was armed with twelve .50 caliber Browning machine guns and bombs, as well as a few individual small arms. It departed Chakulia, India, on a combat bombing mission was over Monywa, Burma. The bomber was hit by enemy antiaircraft fire and a large hole appeared in the left wing. 2nd.Lt. Elroy W. O’Nan, witnesses the B-25D loss, saying, “I saw [the] ... spin and crash near Kalew (sic – Kalewa) , Burma. [It] was on a heading … north, losing 300-500 feet per minute … with an airspeed of about 120-130 MPH. When … [it] reach … 1,000 feet …, it went into a 20 degree [left] bank … apparently heading for a beach or clearing. [It went into a steep dive and into a flat spin which became perpendicular] I saw … three men leave the plane [with good chutes]. It crashed and exploded in trees north of a small stream at 1210 hours (at 23 degrees 10 minutes North and 94 degrees 15 minutes East). 2nd.Lt. Donald J. Spreitzer and 2nd.Lt. Howard E. Sanders, made witness statements.

Joseph Zizlavsky Jr. was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal with an Oak Leaf Cluster and the Purple Heart.