KOKONOS, JAMES, Staff Sergeant, # 13114271, USAAF
James Kokonos (misspelled Kokonis on MACR) was born on 22 February 1921 in Chester, Delaware Co., Pennsylvania, to Spiros (Speros) Demetrios Kokonos (1898-1953) (Gramissa, Greece - naturalized) and Mary (Maria) Kokonos (1988- ) (Greece – naturalized 1927). Siblings were John Kokonos (1927-2012) (attended Temple University), Dina (Dena) (Constandina) (Kokonos) Schriefer (1916-2014) (NY) (attended Temple University, Philadelphia, PA; Asst. Dir. U.S. Army Signal Corps; retired after 30 years service).
He registered for the WWII draft in 1942, resided at 6232 Walton Ave., Philadelphia, Philadelphia Co., CA, and described himself as 5’9”, 140 lbs, with brown hair and eyes. After enlisting in the USAAF, he was trained in an aspect on the B-25. He earned his crewman wings. He was sent through India to China. After one year, six months and seven days of service, he perished in the following accident on which he was a qualified pilot. On 9 May 1945 a B-25, # 43-3933, assigned 14th Air Force, 341st Bomb Group, 22nd Bomb Squadron, was in a formation over China, was hit by enemy fire, and veered out of formation in a dive from 6,500’ and crashed. After recovery from China, crew remains (Causey, Crook, Elkins, Howard, Ketchum & Kokonis) were indistinguishable and were buried in a group ceremony and burial in the Jefferson barracks National Cemetery, Lemay, Missouri, on 2 February 1950 (Sec. 78, Graves 1034-1034A). He was awarded the Air Medal and the Purple Heart.
His sister, Dena (Kokonos) Schriefer, born in 1916, servived in the U.S. Army, retired after 30 years service; Asst. Dir. of Army Signal Corps. Died 14 February 2014 and is buried in the Fernwood Cemetery, Fernwood, Delaware Co., Pennsylvania.