Ciriaco A. Genova served in the 710th Bomber Squadron, 447th Bomber Group, Heavy, as a Staff Sergeant and Radio Operator/Waist Gunner on the B-17 #44-6460, Wilder's crew, during World War II.
On the morning of 2nd October 1944 the 447th U.S.A.A.F. Bomb Group (who were stationed at nearby Rattlesden Airfield) incurred a tragic loss following a mid-air accident in the skies over Kettlebaston, England. Whilst climbing into the sun and broken cloud to join formation, the B17G 'Flying Fortress' of Captain Leach (711th Squadron, aircraft no.43-38245) ascended into the similar bomber of Lt. Wilder (of 710th Squadron, no.44-6460). Leach's propeller cut into Wilders fuselage severing the tail, causing both the heavily laden planes to plummet to the ground. Leach's plane crashed at Wetherden Hall in Hitcham with the loss of all crew, and most of Wilders, at Treacles Farm in Kettlebaston.
There was however one very fortunate survivor. The navigator from Wilders plane (2nd Lt. Eliot Mishler) somehow managed to parachute to safety from the stricken aircraft. He not only survived the crash but also the war.
The crew lost on 44-6460:
1st Lt William M Wilder - Pilot
2nd Lt Normand D Manock - Co Pilot
2nd Lt charles B McGuire - Bombardier
T/Sgt William D Eakins - Top Turret Gunner/Engineer
S/Sgt Ciriaco A Genova - Radio operator/Waist Gunner
Sgt Edward B Suarez Jr - Ball Turret Gunner
Sgt Thomas J Wiltse - Waist Gunner
S/Sgt Harold J Lee - Tail gunner
Source of information: www.findagrave.com, http://www.kettlebaston.com