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S/Sgt Joseph J. Karaso

April 30, 1922 - April 29, 1944


S/Sgt Joseph J. Karaso

(left to right) Sgt John P Bonnassiolle, ball turret; S/Sgt Joseph J Karaso, radio operator; Sgt Michael A Chiodo, left waist gunner; S/Sgt Orus Baxter, engineer; 2Lt. Robert R Bishop, pilot; Sgt John J Harringer, right waist gunner; 2Lt Thomas Digman, bombardier; 2Lt Arthur W Luce, copilot; 2Lt Donald W Hess, navigator
Note Joseph Karaso's handwriting on the front of the picture
(photo from S/Sgt Karaso's family)

From the Memorial Service Program:

October 26, 2011
The Old Post Chapel
Arlington Cemetery Arlington, VA

World War II
B-24J Crew 2nd Lt Bishop Group

On the morning of 29 April 1944, the Eighth Air Force dispatched more than 600 B-17 Flying Fortresses and B-24 Liberators to bomb the railroad system of downtown Berlin. Eighteen B-24s of the 392nd Bomb Group participated in the bombing raid. Eight of the 392nd aircraft did not return. A B-24J, serial number 42-110105, piloted by 2n Lt Robert R. Bishop and assigned to the 578th Bomb Squadron, was among the aircraft that did not return from the mission.

Accounts of the incident from immediately after the crash and through post-war investigations consistently report the deaths of all crew-members on board. German military records indicated that they removed and buried nine of the crew members, with four individuals listed by name on the basis of the recovery of their identification tags. Subsequent investigations resulted in the identification of two crew members, 2nd Lt Digman and Sgt Blong.

in 2003 the US Army Mortuary Affairs Activity-Europe (USAMAA-E) to inform them that Mr. Schwartz, a German citizen, had used a backhoe to excavate a crash site in the vicinity of the village of Meitze, Germany. Mr. Schwartz reported finding mostly aircraft wreckage as well as a small amount of remains. "enough to hold in two hands" which he turned over to the local police. USAMAA-E later collected the remains and turned them over to JPAC, where they were accessioned into the JPAC Central Identification Laboratory (CIL) as CIL 2004-102. In 2005 and again in 2007 a JPAC recovery team further excavated the crash site, recovering additional remains and material evidence which linked the site conclusively to B24-J #42-110105 and its crew.

Their sacrifice, and the honor with which these men lived their lives, will never be forgotten.

Joseph J. Karaso in 1937

Joseph J. Karaso
Port Richmond
Philadelphia, PA

Joseph J. Karaso

Joseph J. Karaso
Class of 1940
Northeast High School
Philadelphia, PA

My father's youngest brother, S/SGT Joseph Karaso, was part of the Army's 392 Bombardment Group, 578th squadron, Aircraft number #42-110105. On April 29, 1944, while on the "Target: Berlin" mission, the aircraft was shot down as a result of a "dogfight". None of the crew on board survived. To view the report click here.

The crew members:
  • 2nd Lt Robert R Bishop
    Joliet, IL

  • Sgt James T Blong
    Engineer/Top Turret Gunner
    Port Washington, WI

  • Sgt John P Bonnassiolle
    Ball Turret Gunner
    Colma, CA

  • Sgt Michael Chiodo A.
    Left Waist Gunner
    Cleveland, OH

  • 2nd Lt Thomas Digman Jr
    Pittsburgh, PA

  • Sgt John J Harringer Jr
    Right Waist Gunner
    South Bend, IN

  • 2nd Lt Donald W Hess
    Sioux City, IA

  • S Sgt Joseph J Karaso
    Radio Operator
    Philadelphia, PA

  • 2nd Lt Arthur W Luce
    Fort Bragg, CA

  • S Sgt Ralph L McDonald
    Tail Gunner
    East Point, GA

S/Sgt Joseph J. Karaso; Sgt Michael Chiodo; S/Sgt Orus Baxter; Sgt John Harringer

(l to r) S/Sgt Joseph J. Karaso; Sgt Michael Chiodo
S/Sgt Orus Baxter; Sgt John Harringer
(photo from S/Sgt Karaso's family)

For many years Joseph Karaso's remains were never discovered or identified. His name is listed on the Wall of the Missing at the Margraten Cemetery in the Netherlands, six miles east of Maastricht. However, in the early 2000's his remains and those of his fellow soldiers were found. In April, 2010, because of DNA testing, his remains were positively identified. A military funeral took place on October 26 2011 in Arlington Cemetery, Washington DC, where he, 2nd Lt Donald W. Hess were laid to rest with all the honors due to them. There was a single casket that contained the remains of the 10 airmen, and an individual casket that contains only the remains of Joseph Karaso. It is because of the sacrifice of these men and all the other thousands of individuals that we are able to enjoy our freedom today.

Joseph J. Karaso

S/Sgt Joseph J. Karaso
Wall of the Missing
Margraten Cemetery
Maastricht, Netherlands



    S/Sgt Joseph J. Karaso, Arlington Cemetery, Section 60, Number 9890

    S/Sgt Joseph J. Karaso
    Arlington Cemetery
    Section 60, Number 9890
    Arlington, VA

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