Heroes: the Army Air Corps


"...The copy of the orders shown below appears to be the orders shipping Steve Marchioli from the States to England and he is listed in the group of men designated as: Crew 98 (APO 16095-CJ-98) This group of airmen included:

Sgt. Loron A. Patton, Sgt. Robert L. Pearson, Cpl. Arthur H. Smith and PFC. Louis C. Warth..."


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 Steve Marchioli

  • Branch of Service: Army Air Corps
  • Unit: 2nd Bomb Group/49th Bomb Sqn., 305th Bomb Group, 364th Bomb Sqn. [Heavy]
  • Dates: 1942 - 1945
  • Location: European Theater
  • Rank: S/Sgt., Gunner
  • Birth Year: 1925
  • Entered Service: New Orleans, LA




Flak Eater and Thunder Mug

According to information received from his son, Bill, Steve Marchioli served in the U. S. A. A. F. during the war and flew a total of 36 missions over Europe. He was a member of the crew of the "Flak Eater" (305th Bomb Group, 364th Bombing Squadron [Heavy].

The image depicted below is of a plane designated as: "Flak Eater", which flew with the 305th Bomb Group. The image was located in the book: Vintage Aircraft Nose Art by Gary M. Valant first published by Motorbooks International in 1987. The image depicts six airmen posing in front of the aircraft. These men are unidentified and none of the men pictured is Steve Marckioli.

The caption on the image states:

Flak Eater B-17 44-6009 305BG 8AF. Began service April 17, 1944; survived the war. NASM (National Air and Space Museum)

B-17G with markings of the 305th Bomb Group
The Mighty Eight by Roger A. Freeman


#44-6009. Del Tulsa 3/4/44; Hunter 15/4/44; Grenier 1/5/44; ass 364BS/305BG (WF-J) Chelveston 17/5/44; (28+m) trans 351BG Polbrook 23/5/45; retUS Bradley 13/6/45; Sth Plains 18/6/45; RFC Kingman 1/12/45.

Basic Translation of above information:

Delivered to Tulsa on April 3, 1944; to Hunter on April 15, 1944, to Grenier on May 1, 1944; assigned 364Bomb Squadron 305th Bomb Group (WF-J) Chelveston (England) on May 17, 1944; (28+m) transferred 351st Bomb Group at Polbrook on May 23, 1945; Returned to US Bradley (Field) on June 6, 1945; Sth Plains on June 18, 1945; Reclaimation Finance Center -- (sold for scrap metal in USA) Kingman on December 1, 1945. FLAK EATER



A second plane was later flown by the crew who served with Steve Marckioli and was listed as "Thundermug". At this point, we do not have any further information on this particular aircraft. Being as a search of the many aircraft listed in the book by Mr. Freeman lists a number of aircraft with the nick-name "Thundermug", it is almost impossible to pinpoint which aircraft was flown by this crew. Hopefully at a later date, information may imerge that will confirm this aircraft identification.


Information above is from the book:

The B-17 Flying Fortress Story: Design - Production - History, by Roger A. Freeman with David Osborne.

FLAK EATER, pp. 267


Information on the Operational Bomb Groups:

Identification: TRIANGLE G

305th BG

B-17F & G in olive and grey factory finish. Originally B-17F with medium green blotching on wings and tail Natural metal B-17G from March 1944. Some a/c with yellow surround to national insignia. Many 422 BS a/c with black undersides from autum 1943. Squadron codes 364BS -- WF, 365BS -- XK, 366BS -- KY, 422BS -- JJ; in grey on camouflaged a/c but later also white, forward national insignia, a/c letter aft. Group markings: G in triangle; also under left wing from spring 1944. From August 1944, bright green 48 inches wide horizontal band across vertical tail; existing marking remained. Many 422BS a/c on leaflet dropping duties had G removed from triangle. 422BS a/c did not carry triangle G again until reformed in June 1944. C & I normally used for a/c letter.

Source: The Mighty Eight (A History of the Units, Men and Machines of the US ith Air Forece), by Roger A. Freeman. pp. 287

Steve Marchioli flew his last six missions in the "Thunder Mug" which was assigned to the 2nd Bombardment Group, 49th Bomb Squadron.

The copy of the orders shown below appears to be the orders shipping Steve Marchioli from the States to England and he is listed in the group of men designated as: Crew 98 (APO 16095-CJ-98) This group of airmen included:

Sgt. Loron A. Patton, Sgt. Robert L. Pearson, Cpl. Arthur H. Smith and PFC. Louis C. Warth.

According to Steve Marchioli's son, Bill, none of these men were listed as part of Steve Marchioli's crew during his tour of duty on the Flak Eater and Thunder Mug.


While stationed in England, Steve Marchioli met his future wife, Glenis Holbrow who was at the time working as a radar technician, watching the buzz bombs come over England.

A newspaper article describes a harrowing mission over Germany, when the Flak Eater made it back on one and a half engines. The crew had to dump their bomb load and dump everything that was not tied down, including ammo, weapons. Anything that weighed anything was pushed off the plane. They flew back alone, with no escort back to England. We are hoping to get a copy of the newspaper article to place on this page. It should make for some very interesting reading...

Steve Marchioli's son, Bill, indicates that he has all of his Dads' decorations (medals and awards), which he is extremely proud of.

image of NEWSteve Marchioli, 305th BG, 364th BS: Photo Album

Check out additional photos of Steve Marchioli in our Photo Album & Scrapbook including images he took during bombing missions.


Interested in some background information?
Check out the related links below...

8th Air Force, 305th Bomb Group

305th Bomb Group: Organizational List

Wrong Place - Wrong Time (2nd Schweinfurt Raid, Oct 14, 1943)

305th Bombardment Group

Honoring the Memory of the 305th BG

8th Air Force Historical Society

The Air Force in WWII

Numerous Images of B-17's (German web site)

image of NEWUSAF Aircraft Serial Number Search

USAF Aircraft Serial Number Search Help

World War II Causality Search


The materials depicted on this page were reprinted with kind permission of Bill Marchioli, the son of Steve Marchioli.

We, at the World War II Stories - In Their Own Words web site wish to offer to Mr. Bill Marchioli our most profound THANK YOU for sharing his memories of his Dad's experiences -- during World War II. We will always be grateful for Mr. Marchioli's contributions to the war effort and to the countless other men and women who put forth their "finest hour".

Original story transcribed from e-mail notations received beginning 1 September 2003.
Story added to website on 13 September 2003
Story updated on 16 October 2003
Story updated on 3 October 2004


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