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An author’s quest to discover what really happened to his uncle in World War II
To all appearances, Anthony “Tony” Korkuc was just another casualty of World War II. A gunner on a B-17 Flying Fortress, Korkuc was lost on a bombing mission over Germany, and his family believed that his body had never been recovered. But when they learned in 1995 that Tony was actually buried at Arlington National Cemetery, his nephew Bob Korkuc set out on a seven-year quest to learn the true fate of an uncle he never knew.
Finding a Fallen Hero is a compelling story that blends a wartime drama with a primer on specialized research. Author Bob Korkuc initially set out to learn how his Uncle Tony came to rest at Arlington. In the process, he also unraveled the mystery of what occurred over the skies of Germany half a century ago.
Korkuc dug up military documents and private letters and interviewed people in both the United States and Germany. He tracked down surviving crewmembers and even found the brother of the Luftwaffe pilot who downed the B-17. Dozens of photographs help readers envision both Tony Korkuc’s fateful flight and his nephew’s dogged search for the truth.
A gripping chronicle of exhaustive research, Finding a Fallen Hero will strike a chord with any reader who has lost a family member to war. And it will inspire others to satisfy their own unanswered questions.
Foreword James M. McCaffrey ix
Mourning a Hero 3
The Loss of a Flying Fortress 18
Revelations from Willmandingen 36
Flying Machines and Memories 55
On the Road to Find Out 74
Family Ties 94
With the Men of the 381st 118
The Ball's-Eye View 133
Twelve O'Clock High 147
The Eagle and the Swallow 165
The Earl King's Demand 191
Coming Full Circle 207
The Last Day of the Big Week 213
Web Resources 246