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The Coleman Crew Index | 2nd Lt. John E., Jr. Jurica—Co-Pilot
2nd Lt. John E., Jr. Jurica—Co-Pilot
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2nd Lt. John E., Jr. Jurica was the co-pilot on my uncles plane when it was shoot down on 25 June 1944. The Jurica family believes John is the officer standing second from the left next to Lt. Coleman in the crew picure. A special thanks to Paul Jurica (Nephew of Co-Pilot John E., Jr. Jurica) for helping with the search for information about John and other crew members. Paul has done a great job helping with the search.
||Last Known Address
| John E., Jr. Jurica
||Mrs. Susan V. Jurica
426 Center Street
|John E., Jr. Jurica Picture's:|
The following photo's are courtesy of Paul Jurica. Click on the images below to view the full-sized image. All rights reserved.
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|Twingine Times dated 1 October 1943:|
The following article is from the Twingine Times dated October 1, 1943. Twingine Times was a weekly newspaper published at Freeman Army Air Field, Seymour, Indiana. Reprinted with the permission of
Three Flying Musketeers Awarded Wings Together
Here's a real story of pluck and perseverance. Three cadets in today's graduating class, who were overseas together as enlisted men, have come all the way from there, through cadets; the hard, rigorous life of a cadet deters some students but not these men. Serving in a bombardment group in Puerto Rico sort of welded them together; a bond of steel friendship is not to be severed by the difficulties of flying training. The happy and proud moment of affixing those gleaming wings to each others breast pocket, is reimbursement enough for all of it, there affirm
Lts. Craig Kennedy,
E. Jurica and
Joseph Kerber, can be seen in that very order all the time. When interviewed, they fell in with Jurica in the center (he's the tallest). flanked by the two shortest fellows. Sheepishly they admitted that they always stand that way. There was much joshing and kidding, but hardly-hidden was the deep affection and loyalty they feel for each other.
Un-separated for Years
It's been a year, un-separated, for them. Having been in the same bomber crew at Herinquen Field, Puerto Rico, was the reason for their putting in for cadet training at the same time. Kerber spoke quietly. "We'd been in the back end of a plane long enough, wanted to be up there in the front for the real action."
Strangely, they've been in the same squadron, same barracks since their initial step at Nashville. Such sustained good luck has them feeling mighty confident about the future too. Their luck goes back to the transport crossing to the States. The ship they were on blew its water pumps, and drifted about for half an hour. At 6 a. m. it started up again. Jurica and Kennedy were on guard. Suddenly with a hiss and swish of water, two torpedoes crossed the stern of the ship. "That started a merry chase, but we got away," said Jurica, who was married last week to a Pfc. in the Marines. "I'm mighty glad we did too", he said, probably thinking of that. "We really took off like a ruptured duck." Lt. Jurica, who was bombardier of the original crew, was also an instructor of Dutch Cadet bombardiers, at Curacao, before assignment to Herinquen.
All three of them had one sentiment to voice in closing, "We want to go further than Puerto Rico - we want to be sent to Tokyo.
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