Fred J. Vallarelli
Fred J. Vallarelli was born on March 9th, 1919 to parents Fransesco and Clementina. Fred lived on 374 Midland Avenue with his parents and two sisters, Frances and Christina. Fred’s father worked as a Landscaper during this time. Fred would attend Rye High School, class of 1938. Over his time in Rye High School he would participate in the school Orchestra. After his graduation he would attend Pace Institute in New York.
Fred enlisted into the United States Army on December 14th, 1942 as a Private. In 1943, Fred would enter the Classification Center at the Nashville, Tenn., Army Air Center to train and become a military pilot. He would successfully graduate, and earn the rank of Second Lieutenant, as well as being the copilot of the 392nd Bomb Group, and among the first pilots of the B-24 Liberators.
The 392nd Bomb Group flew B-24 Liberators out of Wendling, Norfolk from August 1943 until April 1945. They were the first Group allocated B-24H Liberators, the first B-24 series fitted with a nose turret on the production line. The adaptation increased the ability of crews to fight enemy aircraft flying head on against the bomber. The Group was awarded one Distinguished Unit Citation for bombing an aircraft and components factory at Gotha on 24 February 1944, as part of the Big Week of assaults on German aircraft targets. After the invasion of mainland Europe the Group supported the airborne invasion of Holland and assault across the Rhine by Allied paratroops in September 1944,
Fred was shot down over Holland during a supply run for trapped paratroopers during Operation Market Garden. He was captured, and placed into a German prison camp as a POW. Lieut. Vallarelli had been in the Army over three years and went overseas June, 1944. His family learned in October that he was missing in action
and a few weeks later it was reported by short wave radio that he was a prisoner-of-war. Further details reached Rye from members of Lieut. Vallarelli's crew who escaped capture and
returned home. They reported their
ship was the last of a formation flying
at tree-top height to deliver supplies
to trapped paratroopers. They successfully dropped their supplies, but their
plane was so badly riddled by enemy
gunfire that they were compelled to make a forced landing in Holland. During his capture, Lieut. Vallarelli was awarded the Air Medal and one Oak Leaf Cluster.
The citation reads:
For meritorious achievement in accomplishing with distinction several
aerial operational missions over
enemy occupied Continental Europe. The courage, coolness and skill displayed by this individual in the face
of determined opposition, materially
aided in the successful completion of
these missions. His actions reflect
great credit upon himself and the
Armed Forces of the United States."
Over his imprisonment, he sent letters to his family, indicating he was receiving good treatment and Red Cross packages were coming through regularly.
Fred died on July 1st, 1990. He was living in Jonesboro, Clayton, Georgia with his wife, Heln J. Vallarelli. After the war Fred had worked as a Broker/Stock Trader. He was Survived by wife, Heln J. Vallarelli; daughters, sue Juia, Hiaiean, Fl., Patricia M. laratzian, Woodstock; sons, Fred J. Vallarelli, Jr., Eagan. Mn., Robert A. Vallarelli, Arcadia, Fl.; mother, ClementineVailarelli, Port St. Lucie, Fl.; sisters, Frances Sforza, Port St. Lucie, Mary Ann Ack- erly. Ponta Gorda, Fl.; granddaughter, Ashley Nicole Zaratzian.
Rye High School Yearbook 1938
392nd Bomb Group List
Lieut. Vallarelli, War Prisoner of Germans, Awarded Army Air Medal