On October 7, 1944 Chester Rybarczyk was on his fifteenth mission, 384th Bomber Group Mission Number 207 to a synthetic oil plant at Leipzig, Germany. At 1100 hours in the vicinity of Bad Iburg, Germany, Chester Rybarczyk’s aircraft was hit by flak and peeled off from formation with the #2 wing tank smoking and leaking. Rybarczyk was flying as Navigator with the James W. Orr crew on aircraft 43-38615, name unknown. They were last seen over Osnabruck with wheels down and under control. No chutes were seen to emerge. The aircraft landed in allied territory with all crew safe. A crash landing didn’t stop this crew for long. A week later Rybarczyk and the Orr crew were back in the air again on Mission 210 to the Marshalling Yards at Saarbrucken, Germany.
Rybarczyk’s flight jacket shows a picture of a bomb for each of his missions except for his 15th mission. That mission is depicted as a boot, signifying a mission from which the boys had to walk back after a crash landing. He also had the back of his jacket inscribed “Korky,” his nickname for his sweetheart back home, Bernadette Korlewski. His last duty was in December 1944, and Chester and Bernadette married on May 21, 1945.
Information and photos provided by Tony Rybarczyk, Chester Rybarczyk’s son.
© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2014
I stumbled across your web site researching Chester Rybarczyk. I am the Public Information Officer for the Toledo Fire & Rescue Department and regularly look for information from outside sources regarding our members that have died in the Line of Duty.
The information which you have on Chester is nothing that I have heard before. With your permission, I would like to reproduce your story on our web site, http://www.toledofirerescue.com as well as publish it in our internal newsletter.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Lt. Matthew Hertzfeld, Toledo Fire & Rescue Department
Certainly. You have my permission and I would appreciate being credited for the story.
Do you have any information about my mother’s uncle who died on this same mission…he was the co-pilot of “Scotty” that day and was said to have died instantly when he was hit by flak in his head. His name was Robert McCord Jr.
Thank you for contacting me. Yes, the 384th Bomb Group’s web site contains a lot of information on your mother’s uncle. Click the link below to see his personnel record. On that page, find the “Last Duty Date” field in the top section and click on the link “MACR_9635.” That link will open the entire report for his crew on that mission. Unfortunately it becomes unreadable about 2/3 of the way into the report. I have asked one of the 384th BG researchers if he can find a more readable copy and I will send it to you if he is successful.
Also, check these two photos in the gallery at this link
Click on the thumbnails to view the photos and descriptions. They are photos of the B-17 “Scotty” and one has a crew pictured in front.
Also, if you are on Facebook, you can join our 384th Bomber Group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/204972956241290/. It’s also a good place to post inquiries like yours. You might find some more relatives of other crew members.