PIZZOFERRATO, VINCENT J., Technical Sergeant, # 15071556, USAAF
Vincent J. Pizzoferrato was born in 1922 in Canton, Stark Co., Ohio, to Dan Pizzoferrato (1889- ) (Pratola, Peligna, Italy) and Sylvia Anne (Santacroce) Colalacovo (1907-2000) (OH). Siblings were Anthony T. Pizzoferrato (1925-1986) and Guy Pizzoferrato (1926- ). He attended Timken High School. His step-father was Donato Filipo Colalacovo (1894-1982). Half-siblings were Nunzio J. Colalacovo (1931-1994). In 1930, he was living with his paternal step-brother, Dominick Colalacovo (1929-1962), and two maternal uncles, Edward J. Santacroce (1911-1983) and Anthony Santacroce (1912- ). He was married to Norma J. (Livingston) Pizzoferrato in 1943 in Ohio, West Virginia.
He enlisted in the USAAF at Fort Hayes, Columbus, Ohio, on 8 December 1941. He was trained to maintain and operate the radio equipment on the B-24 Liberator. He earned his crewman wings. He was sent overseas to India and China. On 15 September 1943 a B-24J Liberator, “Daisy May,” # 41-24218, assigned to 14th Air Force, 308th Bomb Group, 373rd Bomb Squadron, Yangkai, China, departed the airfield to bomb Haiphong, French Indochina (Annam or Vietnam). The flight of five of seven B-24s (two were unable to take off) were to bomb the cement plant. Planners were unaware of enemy fighters that had been brought in and were nearby. The B-25s had no fighter cover and were attacked by about 50 enemy fighters over Haiphong at about 8,000’ altitude. A crew reported that they saw 41-24218 going down in a spin, its bomb bay door close, and no parachutes were seen. Capt. Don B. Smith, 0-793188 reported that he saw the B-24 flip inverted and crash into the Gulf of Tonkin. There was an explosion when it impacted the water. The body of TSgt Pershke was recovered by French who saw the crash. The rest of the formation parted and dropped their bombs in the Gulf of Tonkin to improve their chances of escaping the many enemy fighters. 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 father, Donato Colalacovo, born 27 April 1892, served in the U.S. Army, Private, Quartermaster Corps, during WWI, from 15 July 1918 to 11 July 1919 overseas 27 October 1918 to 5 July 1919). He died in 1982 and is buried in the White City Cemetery, Fort Pierce, St. Lucie Co., Florida.
His brother, Anthony T. Pizzoferrato, born 7 January 1925, served in the U.S. Army from 5 July 1943 to 5 January 1946. He died 8 October 1986 in Missouri.