Rolling Thunder Illinois Chapter 2

Cpt. Joseph Olbinski – Mission Complete 2010

Date

Mar 02 2024

Time

All Day

Chapter Repatriations

Cpt. Joseph Olbinski

Date of Loss – May 23rd, 1944

Date of Repatriation – March 2nd, 2010

On January 23, 2010, the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC, now DPAA) identified the remains of Captain Joseph M. Olbinski, missing from World War II.

Captain Olbinski entered the U.S. Army Air Forces from Illinois and was a member of the 4th Squadron, 60th Troop Carrier Group. On May 23, 1944, he was the pilot aboard a C-47A Skytrain (serial number 42-23510) that took off from Dinjan, India, on an airdrop mission to resupply Allied forces near Myitkyina, Burma. During the mission, the aircraft crashed for unknown reasons, and CPT Olbinski was killed. Air and ground searches along the intended flight path found no evidence of a crash site, nor the remains of the aircraft’s crew. In 2002, a missionary provided U.S. officials with a C-47 data plate from a crash site northwest of Myitkyina, and in 2003, a Burmese citizen turned over human remains and identification artifacts belonging to some of the lost Skytrain’s crew members. These items led a JPAC team to excavate the crash site near Myitkyina and, between 2003 and 2004, they recovered additional remains and crew-related artifacts. In 2009, U.S. analysts successfully identified Capt Olbinski from among these collective remains.

Captain Olbinski is memorialized on the Walls of the Missing at the Manila American Cemetery in the Philippines.

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