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Dominic Jemella

Staff Sgt - U.S. Army Air Corps - B-24 Ball Turret Gunner

Active Duty 1942 - 1947 -- Reserves 1947 - 1957

World War II

U.S. - North Africa - Italy - Europe

SIGNIFICANT EXPERIENCES

Domenic first entered the Army Air Force in 1941 and went through Boot Camp and Basic Training at Fort Devens - then pre-flight school at Maxwell Field in Alabama, then flight training at  Harlington, Texas where he washed out of flight training even though there were mixed evaluations - Dominic was sent to Gunnery School at Salt Lake City and then to B24 Bomber Training at Gowen Field in Idaho where he became a Ball Turret Gunner.

He and his crew flew to Brazil, then to North Africa and finally to Stornara, Italy, his base for the remainder of his flying days in WWII.  He was with the 456th Bomb Group and flew 48 missions over  Northern Italy, Austria, Hungary, Romania, Germany and Bulgaria.  On his 35th mission his B-24 was hit by German fighters and flak from ground batteries.  Dominic and 2 other crewmen were wounded.  The plane was badly damaged and lost two engines but able to get as far as Northern Italy when the pilot was able to land it.  He was in a hospital for several weeks.  After a few months he got back to flight status and on his 48 mission his plane was shot down over Yugoslavia.  He broke his ankle hitting the ground after parachuting out.  Picked up by Yugoslavia patriots he ended up in a hospital jointly run by the Russians and the Americans.

Dominic was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, the  Purple Heart and the European Theater Service Medal with 4 battle stars.

He was Honorably Discharged from active duty in 1945.  Residing in Cypress Lake CC he was an Associate Member of the Lexington Veterans Association.

 

 

Dominic Jemella passed away at the Fort Myers Hope Hospice at Health Park on February 14, 2012. 

On February 16,  full military honors were rendered by the Lexington Veterans Honor Guard at his memorial service at Resurrection Catholic Church in Fort Myers.

He was buried in the National Cemetery in Massachusetts with full military honors.