|Birth: ||Apr. 24, 1920|
|Death: ||May 15, 1944|
Departement de la Corse-du-Sud
James Raymond Orechia was born 24 April
1920, the eldest child of George James
Orechia and Mabel E. (nee Withrow)
Orechia, in Lincoln, Middlesex Co.
Massachusetts. He was the Grandson,
of James Fulton Withrow and Sarah
Elizabeth C. (nee Woodworth)Withrow,
as well as Arthur Jacob Orechia and
Florence Edith (nee Knight) Orechia.
Raymond was raised in Waltham,
Middlesex Co. Massachusetts.
Between 18 April 1940 and 6 Jun 1942,
Raymond married Ann, (Maiden name
unknown), and they moved to Providence,
On 06 June 1942, Raymond enlisted in
the U.S. Army, at Boston, Massachusetts.
Raymond was sent to Radio School, to
learn all there was to know about the
operation, service, and repair of the
Radio Equipment in use by the Army Air
Corps. Air Crews relied on Radio
Equipment, for communicating with each
other inside the planes, and for
communication with other Aircraft,
when necessary. Communications were
Vital, and the Radio Operators, were
the driving force of Communications.
After Radio School, Raymond was sent
to Gunnery School, where he was trained
to be an expert in aircraft identification,
to quickly distinguish between enemy
and friendly aircraft, and alert
the entire crew if enemy aircraft
were closing in, using the clock system.
Raymond was also trained as a Gunner,
for the 50 caliber machines guns,
used to defend an aircraft from
enemy fighter planes. It was the
Gunner's job to "man" the 50 caliber
machine guns, which included loading,
cleaning, and maintenance.
They had to know every detail of
those guns, and students were timed
as they stripped and re-assembled
50 caliber machine guns, blindfolded.
Once in the Air, the Gunner's job was
to be on the lookout and watch for Enemy
Fighter Aircraft, and FIRE those guns
at the Enemy Planes, if they
came within range of the guns, and
re-load as necessary.
Shooting the guns wasn't just pointing
and pulling the trigger. This was
serious business. Training involved
complex math. The gunners had to learn
and understand angles, curves, and
velocity, such as, a bullet shot from
a moving plane, kept the forward speed
of that plane, as well as its own
velocity. An important part of gunnery
training was learning to anticipate an
enemy fighter's attack curve, when to
lead an incoming fighter and when to
shoot behind him. The rings, or
rads on the sight aided the gunner in
determining where to aim. The gunner's
job was the defense of his plane and
fellow crew members and as a defense,
the gunner's ultimate goal was to shoot
down the Enemy planes.
After training, James Raymond Orechia
was assigned as a Radio-Gunner in the
U.S. Army Air Force; 12th Air Force;
57th Bombardment Wing; 321st Bombardment
Group, 446th Winged Group Bombardment
Squadron; aboard B-25 Mitchell
Medium Bomber Aircraft, stationed in
the Mediterranean Theater of Operations,
(MTO), during World War Two. The Radio
Operator on the B-25's also served as
the waist gunner, in the mid-section of
the plane, with a 50 caliber machine
gun on each side, left and right.
On 24 January 1944, James Raymond
Orechia was promoted from Corporal to
In April 1944 James Raymond Orechia
was Awarded the "Air Medal". The Air
Medal is awarded to any person who,
while serving in any capacity in
or with the Armed Forces of the United
States, shall have distinguished
himself/herself by meritorious
achievement while participating
in aerial flight. In April 1944,
the 321st Bombardment Group transferred
to its new base at Solenzara, Corsica
from its previous base at Vincenzo
Airfield near Naples, Italy. In April
1944, James Raymond Orechia went to the
Isle of Capri Rest Camp for
approximately 10 days and Returned on
25 April 1944.
James Raymond Orechia completed 57
Known Missions. There are several
days of Missions where the crew
lists are not available, and he may
have gone on many of those. He also
likely participated in many more
Missions, such as Training Missions,
Ferrying Missions, and Transport
By 14 May 1944, James Raymond Orechia
had completed his "required" missions,
and was awaiting the paperwork for his
release and transfer back to the United
States. He INSISTED on going on
One More Mission.
The FINAL MISSION:
Monday, 15 May 1944
446th BS Mission Summary: (Ops Order 331/mission 330)
Group Mission # 290:
Squadron Mission 247
TARGET: Orvieto Station RR Bridge
DATE: 15 May 1944
Porto Ferraio, Elba (Alt)
Type of Bombs: 1000 lb. Demo. 446th Planes: 8
Lt. Morris and Lt. Moss led the
formation. The first flight reported
direct hits on the center and both
approaches of the bridge. At the
alternate, the second flight reported
direct hits in the commercial harbor
area and on two boats. Flak was heavy,
intense and accurate. Lt. Othick's
plane was badly hit over the target
and was reported to havemade a
successful crash-landing on the Island
of Pianosa. It is assumed that the
crew members were taken prisoners by
the enemy. Lt. Sampson's plane also
suffered direct hits from flak and
the entire crew wounded by fragments.
Heading for the open sea, Lt.
Sampson gave the order to bail out,
he being the last to leave, after which
the plane exploded in mid-air. Air-Sea
Rescue were able to pick up all the men.
Lt. Walsh crash-landed at the home base,
upon hitting the runway, the plane
exploded and burned, due to the fact
that it was saturated with gasoline
from leaking fuel lines.
Lt. Walsh was thrown clear of the plane,
but died in the hospital from burns
received. The other crew members could
not be rescued, and all perished in the
After an emergency landing Lt. Hodges'
emergency brakes failed while taxiing and
the plane crashed into a ditch, collapsing
the landing gear. Lt. Vivas returned early
with an oil leak in the right engine.
A/C No. 42-32429 "Flamingo"
(crash landing at base – all KIA)
P: Walsh, George F., 1Lt
CP: Lee, Roy N., 2Lt
B: Wilcox, Harry Bradway, Jr., 2Lt
E: Shellhamer, Lawrence (NMI), S/Sgt
R: Orechia, James Raymond "Raymond", T/Sgt
G: Thornton, Edward P., S/Sgt
James Raymond Orechia was survived
by his wife, Ann Orechia; his Mother,
Mabel E. (nee Withrow) Orechia;
his Father, George James Orechia,
serving with the U.S. Armed Forces
at an unknown location; his two little
brothers, Walter M. Orechia and Arthur
George Orechia; his Maternal Grandparents,
James Fulton Withrow, and Sarah
Elizabeth (nee Woodworth) Withrow;
and by his Paternal Grandfather,
Arthur Jacob Orechia, numerous Aunts,
Uncles, and Cousins.
Raymond's remains were brought back
to the United States, and he was
buried on 18 November 1948, at Walnut
Grove Cemetery, in Danvers, Essex Co.
Massachusetts, in Section 'B',
Brook Path, single grave #183.
The arrangements were handled by
the Crosby Funeral Home.
NEVER FORGET HIS SERVICE AND SACRIFICE.
George James Orechia (1898 - 1972)
Mabel Etta Withrow Orechia (1901 - 1958)
James Raymond Orechia (1920 - 1944)
Walter Morin Orechia (1934 - 1991)*
JAMES R. ORECHIA
TECH SGT. 446 AAF BOMB SQ.
WORLD WAR II
APRIL 24, 1920~MAY 15, 1944
Walnut Grove Cemetery
Plot: Section 'B', Brook Path, single grave #183
Created by: Patti Johnson
Record added: Sep 21, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 97548620