SSgt. James J. Soptick, ASN 37239830

Armorer Gunner - Bodmer Crew

10th Air Force / 7th Bombardment Group / 493rd Bombardment Squadron

KIA 22 Oct 44

Air Medal w/Oak Leaf Cluster   Purple Heart

(Image Courtesy of Soptick Family)

SSgt. Soptick

Soptick was a gunner on B-24J #44-70414, assigned to the 10th Air Force, 7th Bombardment Group, 493rd Bombardment Squadron. They were part of a five plane formation that departed Pandaveswar India to bomb targets at Moulmein Burma. Five minutes after dropping their bombs the formation was jumped by eight to twelve Japanese fighters. During the attacks Soptick's plane collided with one of the other bombers in the formation causing both to crash into the Bay of Martaban, killing both crews.

Because his body was not recovered, he is memorialized on the Tablets of the Missing. From 2Lt. Kenneth A. Hill, the following is the eyewitness account to the downing of Soptick's ship (Missing Air Crew Report #9616):

SSgt. Soptick's Memorial

493rd BS Personnel

7th BG Personnel