671st BS Patch

416th Bombardment Group (L)

Sgt. Louis C. Mazza

Airplane Mechanic-Gunner,  12204199

Killed In Action - Jun 6, 1944

671st Bombardment Squadron (L)


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      Born: 29-Mar-1924, New Jersey

Entered Military Service: Date: 9-Dec-1942 At: Newark, NJ From: Union County, New Jersey
NARA Enlistment Record: Enlisted Serial # 12204199

Buried: Saint Mary's Church Cemetery, Plainfield, New Jersey

On-line Memorials:
National World War II Registry

Sgt Louis C. Mazza, serial number 12204199, served in the 416th Bomb Group during WWII. The 416th Bomb group was divided into four bomb squadrons. Mr. Mazza was a gunner who flew 10 missions in the 671 BS from May 19, 1944 until June 6th, the day his plane, 43-10164 was shot down. His pilot, Lt. Ronald Wipperman, was taken POW and the second gunner SSgt Henry S. Ahrens perished with the plane.

Sgt Mazza's mother, Maddalen, was notified by a Western Union telegram that her son was listed as MIA. At home in Westfield, New Jersey, she was anxiously awaiting word on her son's situation. Weeks of worry turned into months before she finally was able to track down the pilot Wipperman's family. She learned that the plane's left engine had caught fire after being hit by flak. Wipperman "Whip" tried to put out the flame by turning off the gas and diving, hoping to blow out the flame. The attempt was unsuccessful, the flame was growing. He was forced to radio back to his gunners Mazza and Ahrens to get prepared to parachute out of the failing plane. Lt. Wipperman pulled up vertically, leveling the plane, jettisoned the canopy and jumped, clearing the tail. Wipperman made it safely to the ground and was taken POW. The fate of the gunners was still unknown.

After learning the good news that Lt. Wipperman was alive and in a POW camp, Mrs. Mazza had hopes that her son was also alive. On Dec. 16, 1944 she typed the following letter below to Brigadier General Samuel E. Anderson, commanding general of the 9th Air Force.

The letter she wrote:
Dear Samuel E. Anderson,
   I am writing to you concerning my son Sgt. Louis Mazza #12,204,199 who is missing in action since June, 6. The reason I'm writing this letter is I have found through information that the pilot of the plane in which my son was on is a prisoner of war in Germany. Now the serial number of this boy I do not have, but his name is 2nd Lt. Ronald A. Wipperman. His address is 155 First Street, North Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin.
   Now do you think you could possibly contact this boy since he is a prisoner of war, about my son. Please if this could possibly be done let me know. I'm thanking you in advance.

Mrs. Maddalen Mazza

P.S. This fellow 2nd Lt. Ronald A. Wipperman was in the crew with my son and his A.P.O. was the same as my son 140.

Louis C. Mazza was not in a POW camp and was later determined to be deceased under Public Law 490 and designated "FOD" finding of death.

Mrs. Mazza was sadly added to the Gold Star Mothers' list.

Extracted from www.ww2buddies.com
Sgt Louis C. Mazza - Airplane Gunner

A/C Seen to Crash. Lost as a result of Enemy Anti-Aircraft. One bomb run 45 seconds from target, aircraft was hit by flak and left engine caught on fire. Aircraft crashed, exploded and one chute was seen to open.

Lt. R.A. Wipperman's plane crashed, but three chutes were seen to come out of it and open. His two gunners were S/Sgt. H.S. Ahrens and Sgt. L.C. Mazza.
(416th BG History 1944)

Pilot Lt. Ronald Wipperman, was taken POW; Gunner S/Sgt Henry S. Ahrens was KIA; Gunner Sgt Louis C. Mazza was originally listed as MIA, presumed to be a POW, but was later determined deceased under Public Law 490 and status changed to FOD (Finding Of Death).

See also MACR 6047 and Mission # 68

Photos and Documents
1940 US Census
The Courier-News (Bridgewater, New Jersey) 24 Mar 1945, Sat Page 4
The Courier-News (Bridgewater, New Jersey) 06 May 1948, Thu Page 17
Headstone Application
Headstone Application
Rosters Of WW II Dead
WW II Army and Army Air Force Casualty List
National World War II Memorial Registry

Source information can be viewed at WWII Military Service Fatalities Sources

"Goin' Home" courtesy of the U.S. Air Force Band