July 24, 1921 (Bronx, NY) – April 7, 1945; 23 years old
Last local address: 9 Quintard Street, South Norwalk
Unknown enlistment date
Service number: O-2063160
Unit: 389th Bomber Group (Heavy); 567th Bomber Squadron
Born to Albert C. Sr. (1896-1970), born in Hungary, and Helen E. Czako Contra (1900-1980). Sister Carolyn A. Contra Wagner (1930-2022). His grandmother, Mrs. Julia Czako, resided at 9 Quintard Avenue and Albert Sr. lived at 1965 Highland Avenue in Norwalk in 1945.
Awarded the Air Medal three times and the Purple Heart Medal.
Evander Childs High School, Bronx, Class of ‘39
Serial number: 44-49254
Nickname: The Palace of Dallas
Destination: Düneberg, Germany
567th Bombardment Squadron 389th Bombardment Group 8th Air Force (RAF Hethel Airfield) Station USAAF-114 Norfolk England
Rammed on April 7, 1945, by a German Messerschmitt BF 109G-6 West of Soltau Germany while on a mission at The Ammunition Factory at Duneberg Germany. The pilot of BF 109G-6 was flown by Uffz. Heinrich Rosner of Sonderkommande Elbe. (8) Crew Were Killed. (2) Crew bailed and were captured and became POWs.
USAAF MACR#: 14113
Date Lost: 7-Apr-45
Serial Number: 44-49254
Aircraft Model B-24 LHO
Aircraft Name: THE PALACE OF DALLAS
Location: Northern Germany
Cause: “Elbe” Ram Fighter 11 KIA, 2 POW
The most notable “Elbe” pilot was Unteroffizer Heinrich Rosner of III/JG.102, who brought down two B-24’s of the 389th Bomb Group, he rammed the B-24 “Palace of Dallas” flown by the group commander Colonel John B. Herboth, this collided with the B-24 led by the deputy group commander Major Tolleson. Two crew members managed to bail out as both bombers went down.
Rosner also managed to bail out although he passed out in harness. When he woke up, he had landed among farm buildings and after receiving medical aid, returned to base at Stendal. He was one of 29 Elbe pilots of the operation that reported back, while many others lay dead or wounded in hospitals in Northern Germany.
From The Norwalk Hour November 29, 1944
Lieutenant Albert J. Contra, native Norwalker and son of Mr. and Mrs. Albert Contra, now residing at 1165 Lydig Avenue, Bronx, NY, is a member of a United States Bomber crew recently cited by President Roosevelt for meritorious service over enemy territory. Lieutenant Contra, now stationed in England, was trained at Childress, Texas, where he received his commission as a Second Lieutenant on July 1, 1944. He enlisted in the United States Air Corps in September 1942. Lieutenant Contra completed his third-year studies in chemical engineering at New York University and was employed at the American Cyanamid Company in Stamford during the summer months. His grandmother, Mrs. Julia Czako, resides at 9 Quintard Avenue.
From The Norwalk Hour May 4, 1946
Memorial services were held in New York recently for First Lieutenant Albert J. Contra, 25, son of Mr. and Mrs. Albert Contra of Lydig Avenue, Bronx, NY who was killed in combat over Solta, Germany April 7, 1945. Lieutenant Contra was first reported missing in action after the Liberator on which he was head gunner was rammed by an ME-109 and was seen to go down in flames. His death was recently confirmed by the War Department. His mother is the former Helen Czako of Quintard Avenue and his grandmother, Mrs. Julia Czako, still resided here. Lieutenant Contra, stationed with the Eighth Air Forces in England, had completed 22 missions and had but three more to go when the crash came. He was many times cited for outstanding performance and held the Distinguished Service Medal, the Presidential Citation, and three commendations for perfect obliteration of targets. He graduated from the Chemical Engineering School at New Your University and at the time of induction was working with the American Cyanamid Company in Stamford. In addition to his parents, Lt. Contra is survived by one sister Carolyn Contra, residing in New York.
Lt Contra is buried in Ardennes American Cemetery and Memorial, Rte du Condroz 164, 4121 Neupré, Belgium; Section B, Row 32, Grave 32.