KARLOVICH, MICHAEL, JR., Staff Sergeant, # 12204196, USAAF
Michael Karlovich, Jr., was born on 30 January 1924 in New Jersey to Michael Karlovich (1885-1950) (Dumacia, Yugoslovakia - naturalized) and Katarina/Katherine “Keti” (Zsigarlovics) Karlovich (1894-1974) (Lubovcnor, Czechoslovakia - naturalized). Siblings included Mary Karlovich (1917- ) (PA), Sam Karlovich (1925-1999) (NJ), and Frank Karlovich (1926-2014) (NJ). In 1930 his father was a fireman, residing at 45 Allen St., Orange, NJ. He was married to Dorothy M. Karlovich, 404 E. Jackson, Windsor, Missouri.
He enlisted in the USAAF in Newark New Jersey, on 9 December 1942. He was trained in the maintenance and operation of the .50 caliber machineguns on the B-29 Superfortress. He was assigned the right waist gunner position on the day he died. On 20 August 1944, a B-29, # 42-6368, “Calamity Sue,” assigned to 20th Air Force, 468th Bomb Group, 794th Bomb Squadron, departed the airfield at Pengshan, China, on a bombing mission of the iron and steel works at Yawata, Kyushu, Japan, from 26,000 feet altitude. It was last sighted over the target and had been struck by parts of an enemy fighter. B-29 42-6368 was flying in # 4 position of a four-ship diamond formation. Lead B-29, 42-6334, was struck head-on by an enemy fighter and exploded. A piece of the wreckage struck the tail (vertical stabilizer) of 42-6368, separating it. 42-6368 was last seen in a spin over the target (MACR 9685). TSgt Dansby wrote that there was a report of six parachutes from 42-6368. Dansby bailed out at about 3,000 feet. He believed that the others who were able to bail out included Newman (at about 14,000 feet) and Shott (at about 20,000 feet). 1stLt Shott was captured and a POW of the Japanese from that date to 29 August 1945. He was separated from service in 1947 (active duty) and from the U.S.A.F. Reserves in 1955. Capt. Dexter C. Dean of the squadron informed reporter of this. Three were in the POW prison camp in Japan. Dansby was kept in solitary confinement for four months then was sent to the Tokyo Omari POW prison camp. Col. Carmichael Richard was brought to the POW prison later. When the war ended, there were about 150 B-29 crewmen who were in the Omari prison camp. Some remains recovered from bural in Yokohoma, Japan, were indistinguishable and were buried in a two-casket grave in the Zachary Taylor National Cemetery, Louisville, Kentucky, 23 August 1949 (Sec. E, Graves 91-92). These included Karlovich, Keelan, Martin and Stauffer.
His brother, Sam Karlovich, born 6 February 1925, enlisted in the U.S. Navy (Service # 33693378) 29 June 1943, was overseas 22 March 1944 to 22 August 1945, and was honorably discharged 27 October, 1945, at Fort Jackson, South Carolina.