POOLER, Ga. (WSAV) — The National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force will be hosting a Veterans Panel Discussion on Sunday, May 29 at 1:00 p.m.
The panelists, who are all World War II Eighth Air Force Veterans, include SSgt. Casimer “Casey” Bukowski, TSgt. Gordon Fenwick, 1Lt. James Frolking, TSgt. Bruno Gallerani and Major John “Lucky” Luckadoo.
SSgt. Casimer “Casey” Bukowski was a waist gunner in 381st BG/532nd BS. He was shot down on Feb. 22, 1944 and became a Prisoner of War POW at Stalag Lufts IV and VI. Bukowski was liberated on April 26, 1945. The primary duty of the waist gunner was to defend the aircraft against the enemy. They were also frequently responsible for checking the aircraft for damage and assisting the flight engineer with repairs if necessary. Today, Retired SSgt is Bukowski is 98 years old.
TSgt Gordon Fenwick was a radio operator/gunner in 401st BG/615th BS and completed completed 35 missions. The radio operator’s job was to monitor the bomb group’s frequencies for changes to the flight plan, and to enable the pilot to broadcast to other planes in the formation. Today, Retired TSgt Fenwick is 99 years old.
1Lt James Frolking was a pilot in 479th FG/436th FS. He flew his first mission on D-Day, patrolling the English Channel for enemy planes. He went on to fly 50 more missions. He was shot down on Oct. 7, 1944 by enemy fire and evaded capture. Today, 1Lt James Frolking is 98 years old.
TSgt Bruno Gallerani was a flight engineer/top turret Gunner in 385th BG/548th BS. His aircraft was shot down Aug. 17, 1943 and he evaded capture. Typically during WW II, gunners made up half of a bomber crew, manning a top turret, ball turret, two waist guns, and a tail turret. Some other crewmembers also operated defensive guns as a secondary duty. Today TSgt Gallerani is 101 years old.
Major John “Lucky” Luckadoo was a pilot in Pilot; 100th BG/350th and 351st BS. He flew B-17 Flying Fortresses over France and Germany between June and Oct. of 1943. Luckadoo completed 25 while piloting his plane through Luftwaffe machine-gun fire and antiaircraft flak in subzero temperatures. He is the last living original pilot of the WWII Eighth Air Force 100th Bomb Group known as the “Bloody Hundredth,” which suffered high casualties. Today Major Luckadoo is 100 years old.
The National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force is a nonprofit organization that features exhibits offers tours, events , a gift shop and a Memorial Garden. Currently, the Memorial Garden has 26,000 48-star American Flags to honor the 26,000 Eighth Air Force airmen who made the ultimate sacrifice in World War II. National Mighty Eighth Museum.
To volunteer at the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, email Heather at email@example.com or call 912-988-1835, and leave your name, phone number and email address.