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TSGT Michael Joseph Cicon

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TSGT Michael Joseph Cicon

Birth
Exeter, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, USA
Death 17 Feb 1996 (aged 76)
Burial Exeter, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, USA
Memorial ID 80956831 View Source
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Gunner Sgt. Michael J. Cicon DFC POW
Hometown: Exeter, Pa.
Squadron: 66th BS 44th Bomb Group
Awards: Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal, Purple Heart
Pilot 1st/Lt. George W. Winger, DFC MIA/KIA

Target: Ploesti
Missing Air Crew Report Details
USAAF MACR#:
Date Lost: 1-Aug-43
Serial Number: 41-24015
Aircraft Model B-24D
Aircraft Letter: R
Aircraft Name: WING DINGER
Location: Lost near the target, Ploesti 7 KIA 3POW
Cause:

Sergent Cicon became a POW when his B24 was shot down in Romania while attacking Ploesti "Operation Tidal Wave" August 1st 1943. One of the most daring raids of WW2. Coming in at tree top level the 44th BG destroy Romanian oil refineries. Cicon was awarded the Distinguished flying cross for valor and heroism. He was liberated by the Russians in 1945 and became a Pennsylvania state trooper.

Crew of WING DINGER
1Lt George W. Winger Pilot
1Lt George W. Winger Pilot
2nd Lt. Edward Barnett Co Pilot
1st/Lt.Frederick H. Palmer Navigator
T/Sgt. Harold Kretzer Engineer
Sgt.Elvin L. Phillips Gunner
Sgt. Jacob Gradwohl Gunner
Sgt. Howard F. Gotts Gunner
Sgt. Sgt Howard F. Gotts Gunner
S/Sgt.Michael J. Cicon Gunner

The last of the 66th aircraft lost on 1 August was that flown by Lt. George W. Winger, and whose position in the formation was on the right of Lt. Gentry.

Lt. Winger was flying a B-24 that was mistakenly reported to be bright orange in color. As this formation was on their bomb run, Winger’s ship was knocked aside by an explosion, and crossed directly below Hughes’ ship. On the other side of the target, Winger was still in the air but his aircraft was now an orange color because its Tokyo fuel tanks were aflame in the bomb bay.

The pilots evidently knew that the end was near. Lt. Hunn said, “Winger climbed steeply to about five hundred feet. It must have taken him and his co-pilot (Barnett) enormous effort to get her high enough for people to bail out.” And two men did jump out of the waist ports, and their parachutes opened as the ship crashed and
exploded.

Winger and his men had completed 27 missions and were legally “retired” but chose to go on one more mission as it was so important to the war effort.

The chutists, who had received the gift of life from their pilots, were gunners Michael J. Cicon and Bernard G. Traudt. Traudt was a seventeen year-old with a perpetual grin. He landed unhurt,
concealed his chute, and crawled under some bushes and went to sleep. He had gotten no sleep the night before. Later he stated,

“The other waist gunner, Michael Cicon, and I bailed out at
approximately 500 feet, due to the fact that the plane was on fire and the bail out alarm rang. The plane hit the ground before we did, and we did not see any one else get out.”

Lt. John Harmonoski reported that he saw Lt. Winger salute him just before he pulled his airplane upwards!


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WORLD WAR II
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  • Created by: CRB
  • Added: 25 Nov 2011
  • Find a Grave Memorial 80956831
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/80956831/michael-joseph-cicon : accessed ), memorial page for TSGT Michael Joseph Cicon (29 Sep 1919–17 Feb 1996), Find a Grave Memorial ID 80956831, citing Saint John the Baptist Cemetery, Exeter, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, USA ; Maintained by CRB (contributor 47161387) .