Joseph C. Karl

Recent Address: 18 Forest Rd., Wallingford, CT 06492
E-mail Address:
Family Info: Parents: Joseph and Mary; Wife: Angeline; Children: J. James, Richard, 1 daughter; Grandchildren: Andrew, Peter, Christina, Alicia
Hometown: Meriden, CT
Date Entered Service: September 30, 1942
Service Number: 31169361
Bomb Group: 462nd
Squadron: 769th
Location of Unit: Walker Air Base, Kansas 12/31/43
Missions Flown:
Hump Missions:
Awards: Air Offensive Japan, Palembang, Sumatra Air Offensive, Burma-India-China Offensive, Central Burma Campaign, WWII Victory Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with 5 Bronze Battle Stars, Distinguished Unit Citation with Oak Leaf Cluster
Service Schools: Seymour Johnson Field, Goldsboro, NC October 1942 - March 1943
MOS: MOS 747-Airplane and Engine Mechanic
Rank Upon Discharge: Staff Sergeant
Crew Type: Ground crew
Airplane Serial No.& Name:
Where You a POW?:
POW Location:
Where You a Interned?:
Internment Location:
Date Transferred from the 58th:
Date Discharged: February 12, 1946
Post WWII Service:
Post WWII Civilian Occupation(s): Ornamental Die Cutter in the Silverware industry -- Elmore Silver Co. (11 years); International Silver Co. (30 years); Wallace Silver Co. (6 years).
Thoughts About the 58th:
B-29 Crews, both air and ground, were made up of men with experience with B-24 and B-17 bombers. I had experience with both planes. I was transferred to the 769th squadron, 462nd Bomb Group at Walker Army Air Base, Kansas. Imagine our pride when we were told we were going to bring Japan to her knees with that big, beautiful, magnificent B-29! We were also told it had never been in combat -- had many mechanical problems that had to be rectified. Without bragging and with great pride, I say, “We did the job!”
From India, China and Tinian the 58th Bomb Wing performed proudly. I am intensely proud to have served with this magnificent group. A footnote: After finishing airplane mechanic school, I was asked to become an instructor. I declined, not wanting to watch the war from the States. I'm glad I made that decision!
It is not commonly known how important was the battle of Iwo Jima. Our bombers were hitting Japan from bases on Guam, Saipan and Tinian. They were harassed both to and from the targets by Jap fighters based on Iwo Jima 660 miles from Japan. Badly injured planes had to dump in the Pacific Ocean and hope that friendly surface ships would reach them in time. Iwo Jima had to be taken to provide a safe place to land when in trouble.
The Marines took Iwo Jima at a tremendous cost -- 6,821 killed, 19, 938 wounded. Of 2l,000 Japanese troops, only 1,028 survived!
During the firebombing of Japan, 2,500 B-29's made emergency landings on Iwo Jima. Everyone of those crews thanked God and the Marines for the sacrifice they made!
Mr. Karl passed away January 22nd 2004 and is buried at Sacred Heart Cemetery in Meriden, CT.

58th Bomb Wing Veterans Index
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