S/Sgt Louis “Louie” Zdrojkowski was born March 13, 1925 in Saginaw MI. He went missing in action August 7, 1945. Louie was a true American hero. At the age of 18 he entered the US Army. He volunteered for the Army Air Corp and became a top-turret gunner on his B-29 Superfortress. His family didn’t know until after his death in a bombing raid over Japan that he was part of a small group clearing the way for the atomic bomb attacks on Japan
The last entry in his diary was August 1, 1945. He wrote “Just eighteen more missions to go. We flew our twenty second one today. Our target was the Locks at Nagasaki. We carried eight 1000 lb bombs. The ball turret has been taken out. Our hits were excellent. Flank was heavy & accurate. We had one hole in the plane. Fighters killed two. 494th came and wounded several others. They had lost about nine planes in three weeks. Dicie’s crew went down yesterday. Kumo went with them. They might be picked up. I hope so.”
On August 7 S/Sgt Zdrojkowski was assigned to a new spot as tail gunner on a B-29 headed for Japan. Louie’s plane was the first in a V-shaped formation assigned to bomb out anti-aircraft sites that would have fired on other B-29s to come later with atomic bombs. Anti-aircraft fire hit the plane over the Japanese island of Kyushu. A week later August 15 Japan surrendered.
Louie gave his life to put an end to WWII In March 1946 the Army officially declared S/Sgt Louis Zdrojkowski dead. It wasn’t until April 1949 before the family got his remains and was able to bury him.
I am posting this for my Grandmother, She came from a large polish family with seven brothers and sisters and whenever they were all together they would remind us all that Louis was not there and were extremely proud of him, Louis would be my great uncle and I wanted to share his role in the end of the war. since the anniversary is coming up.
PS. I know how to pronounce Zdrojkowski, I have a lot of relatives in Saginaw because my Great Grandparents Immigrated to Saginaw from Poland.
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