Carroll County

S/Sgt. James Kratoska





Sgt. Kratoska, Lost April 7, "Well and Safe"

S/Sgt. Jim Kratoska, who had been reported missing in action over Germany since April 7, is "well and safe" according to a cablegram sent by him to his parents, Mr. and Mrs. E.J. Kratoska.

The mesage, which was received at 8:15 this morning, also stated that a letter will follow.

S/Sgt. Kratoska is top turret gunner on a B-24.

Source: Carroll Daily Times Herald, April 30, 1945

Jim Kratoska In Hospital After His Escape From Foe

S/Sgt. Jim Kratoska, who cabled his parents Mr. and Mrs. E.J. Kratoska, that he was "well and fine" after being reported missing over Germany since April 7, has written them under the date of April 21 that he is in an English hospital somewhere in Germany. He said the only injury he has is a black eye from the tree slap as he parachuted through it. He revealed nothing further as to what happened or how he escape.

S/Sgt. Kratoska stated that, to his knowledge, only two other members of the crew of ten on the B-24 which he was serving as top turret gunner, are safe, and he does not know where they are.

It was two weeks from the time he left the plane until he made his way through the lines to the hospital, which he described as a "long, long walk."

Source: Carroll Daily Times Herald, May 5, 1945

James Kratoska was inducted on February 5th, 1944, and went overseas on October, 22, of the same year where he served with the 389th Bomb Group, 587th Bombardment Squadron in North England, as a Flight Engineer. He was shot down on his 22nd Mission and captured by the Germans on April 7th, 1945. He escaped on April 9th and was picked up by the British and hospitalized until May 20th, 1945. From there he went to London and landed in the U.S. on May 27. He received his honorable discharge on November 6th, 1945. Kratoska wears the Purple Heart, the Air Medal with 2 clusters, E.T.O. Ribbon with battle stars, the A.T.O. Ribbon, the Presidential Unit Citation with one cluster and the Good Conduct Medal.

Source: Carroll Daily Times Herald, November 23, 1945 (photo included)