May 6, 1920 (West Wyoming, PA) – December 27, 1944; 24 years old
Last local address: 173 Ely Avenue, South Norwalk
Enlisted April 6, 1942
Service number: 31104564
Unit: 112th Base Unit, Westover Field, Massachusetts

Born to Cataldo (1882-1937) and Ignazzia “Nancy” Malfa Martarano (1888-1955). Two sisters, Angelina Martorana Adrian (1912-1990) and Marie Martorana Gradia (1917-1980). Two brothers, Michael (1918-1978) and Philip (1915-2003).

From The Norwalk Hour December 29, 1944

From The Norwalk Hour newspaper December 29, 1944

Corporal Joseph Martarano, 24, son of Mrs. Nancy Martarano of 21 Laurence Street, was one of the 11 airmen killed in a B-24 Army Bomber crash on Wednesday at West Mattituck, Long Island. According to Lieutenant Colonel George Logan, commander of the Suffolk County Army Air Field, the plane was on a combat training mission from Westover Field, Massachusetts, when it crashed on a snow-covered farm. Corporal Martarano, recently transferred to Westover Field, had spent Christmas at his home here, returning to Massachusetts on Tuesday and had anticipated spending the New Year weekend in Norwalk. He was recently graduated from the Army Air Force’s Flexible Gunner School at Tyndall Field, Florida, where he received his silver wings. Previously he had been at Stuttgart Field, Arkansas. Before he went into the service he was a shipping clerk at the Hat Corporation of America. Besides his mother, he is survived by two sisters, Mrs. Marie Gradia of this city, and Mrs. Angelina Adrian of San Jose, California; and two brothers, Michael of this city, now in the Army, and Philip of West Wyoming, Pennsylvania.

From The Wilkes-Barre Times Leader Evening News January 5, 1945

Corporal Joseph Martorana, formerly of West Wyoming, later a resident of South Norwalk, Connecticut before he entered military service in April 1941, was killed in an airplane crash while on a training mission over Long Island on December 27. Martorana, a gunner, was stationed at Westover Field, Massachusetts. He was a graduate of West Wyoming High School, in 1938. Military honors were accorded Corporal Martorana when he was buried in Long Island National Cemetery, Farmingdale, NY on December 29. He leaves his mother and these brothers and sisters: Mrs. Fred Gradia, Michael of Connecticut; Mrs. R. Adnani, California, and a brother Philip of West Wyoming. Several nieces and nephews also survive.

From Corporal with the 112th Base Unit from Westover Field, Massachusetts. He was one of eleven airmen killed in a weather-related crash of B-24J Liberator #42-51034, two miles west of Mattituck, Long Island, New York.

From On December 27, 1944, a squadron flying a B-24 Army Liberator Bomber left Westover Field, Massachusetts for a training mission. Unfortunately, they were met with a snowstorm that was covering Mattituck, Long Island, and were unable to successfully navigate a landing either at their target at the Suffolk County Army Air Field, known now as the 106th Air Rescue Wing in Westhampton Beach or make an emergency landing on a field. Instead, at 6:20 pm, they slammed into the farm fields of J. Dwight Reeves on the south side of North Country Road, West Mattituck. 

The aircraft was piloted by Flight Officer Victor Belotti, 21 from Somerville, MA, his co-pilot was Flight Officer William D. Sanders, 23, from Troupe, TX.  Flight officer, Clifford J. McElwee, Gary, Ind. was the navigator. Their Gunnery Instructor was Staff Sergeant Nicholas M Carusone, 26, Providence, RI. There were four gunners; Corporal Vito D. Ferraro, 18, Rochester, NY, Corporal Joseph H. Martorana, 24, South Norwalk, Connecticut, Roger Westervelt, 19, Buda, Illinois and Corporal John H. Benner, 36, Lewiston, PA. George H Reis, 19, South Dartmouth, MA, was the radioman, their engineer was Lawrence L. Tench from West Wyoming, PA. The bombardier was Lewis P. Pernala, 22, from Duluth, Minnesota.

Corporal Martorana is buried at Long Island National Cemetery, 2040 Wellwood Ave, Farmingdale, New York; Section L, Plot 21612. Photo by webmaster.


Published by jeffd1121

USAF retiree. Veteran advocate. Committed to telling the stories of those who died while in the service of the country during wartime.

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