New England Air Museum
Gennaro A. Zeoli
 
Jerry Zeoli, WWII
Jerry Zeoli, WWII
 
Current Address:   2820 SW 15th St. (B5-202), Delray Beach, FL 33445
 
Email:    
 
Family Information:   Parents: Louise and Joseph; Stepfather: Vincent; Wife: Velia; Children: Patricia, Joseph, Gerald
 
Hometown:   Providence, RI
 
Date Entered Service:   February 4, 1944
 
Service Number:   31464460
 
Bomb Group:   468th Bomb Group
 
Squadron:   794th Bomb Squadron
 
Location of Unit:   Tinian; May 1945
 
Missions Flown:   16 and 2 aborts
 
Hump Missions Flown:    
 
Targets:   Osaka, Omuta, Kure, Okayama, Chiba, Sendai, Namazu, Fukui, Kawanishi, Aomori, Hirosaki, Hachiogi, Fukuyama, Hikari, others
 
Awards/Decorations:   Air Offensive Japan, Eastern Mandates, Western Pacific Campaign, Air Medal with 1 Bronze Star, Asiatic-Pacific Service Medal with 3 Bronze Stars, American Theater Service Medal, WWII Victory Medal, Good Conduct Medal, Presidential Unit Citation, Battle Stars (4), AAF Air Crew Member Badge (Wings), Carbine, Pistol
 
Service Schools Attended:   Basic-Keesler Field, Biloxi, MS 1944; Gunnery-Buckingham Field-Ft. Myers, FL 1944; Davis Monthan Field, Tucson, AZ 1944
 
Military Specialty(ies):   MOS 611-Aerial Gunner
 
Rank Upon Discharge:   Sgt.
 
Crew Type:   Flight crew
 
Airplane Serial No.& Name:   42-65275 Hi Stepper, 42-24734 Miss Lead, 42-65227 Lady Be Good, 44-69660 My Gal Sal, 42-24486 Windy City II
 
Were you a POW?   No
 
Were you interned?   No
 
Date Transferred from the 58th:    
 
Date Discharged from the 58th:   February 6, 1946
 
Post-WWII Military Service:   None
 
Post-WWII Civilian Occupation(s):
Earned AB degree in Political Science from Brown University. Earned Masters degree in Education from Rhode Island College. From 1955-1993 taught Social Studies and Math (Algebra) at Moses Brown Prep School. Also Athletic Director, Coach of Football, Basketball, Wrestling, Track and Baseball.
 
Thoughts on the 58th Bomb Wing:
It was an experience in which I learned a great deal considering the circumstances and conditions. I was an 18 year old with little if any outside experience. Most of all, I learned how others in my outfit lived, felt and worked. It did give me a sense of belonging, purpose, and discipline. I did grow up fast and it did carry over into my association in college and later as a teacher/coach in a prep school.
 
Comments:
Our crew flew overseas from San Francisco to the Marianas with a new B-29 plane which our pilot, Paul Shernisky, had named "Weirite" after his town in West Virginia. This new B-29 was taken away from our crew and given to another crew. Most of our missions over Japan were flown in the "Hi Stepper" that had been assigned to our crew. We did fly some missions in other B-29's such as Miss Lead, Lady Be Good, My Gal Sal and Windy City II.

We had a good crew and I enjoyed being with them. I was 18 years old and left a widowed mother, sister and grandmother at home to do my part in WWII. Proud to have served with the 20th Air Force.

 

Jerry Zeoli, 1947
Jerry Zeoli, 1947

 

Jerry Zeoli, c. 2001
Jerry Zeoli, c. 2001

 


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