Charles Banchiere

'You couldn't think about airplanes going down in front of you...the flak was heavy and you just dropped your bombs and hoped that you could get out of there."

Name:  Charles Banchiere
Date of Birth:  11/16/24
Branch of Service: Army Air Corps
Dates of Service:  February 1943 to August 1950 and August 1950 to March 1952
Location of Military Service: Italy and Korea
 
     Mr. Banchiere enlisted in the Army Air Corps when he was 17 years old.  He went to basic training at Miami Beach then to a college training detachment in Huntington, West Virginia.  He was then sent to flight school at Union City, Tennessee.  He was shipped to Panatella Air Force Base in Southern Italy as a Second Lieutenant.  Mr. Banchiere was in the 15th Air Force, 464th Bomb Group, and the 778th Bomb Squadron during World War II.  He was a copilot on a B 24 Liberator called the "White Queen" and flew 33 combat missions.  The plane he was in was battle damaged and forced to land while returning to base after one of the missions.  After the war, he flew missions to Bergen Belsen Concentration Camp to deliver amino acids.  He was recalled  and sent to Travis Air Force Base in California and then shipped overseas to Okinawa during the Korean War.  He flew a B 29.  He was a member of the 20th Air Force, 19th Bomb Group.  He received an Air Medal with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters, European Theater of Operation Ribbon with 4 Stars, a Distinguished Unit Citation with 1 Cluster, and the Distinguished Flying Cross.  He achieved the rank of First Lieutenant.


      
Mr. Banchiere (second from left standing) and his crew
Kneeling left to right: Jerry McGrath, Bob Babcock, Frank Villano, Jim Corr, John Margaroli, and "Shorty" Douglas (deceased).
Standing left to right: Joe Kolacia, Charles Banchiere, Charles Lammerding (deceased), and Frank Qualia (killed in action)








 

 

 






Mr. Banchiere in front of a B24




Korean War  B29


This is a plane that Mr. Banchiere co-piloted on a mission over the Wehrmacht lines.  This picture was reproduced in the "Stars and Stripes" paper.