I don't begrudge the publicity Frank Gifford recieved after his death but he was just a football player and TV personality. I figured Joe Blinebiury deserves some recognition too. Btw, I didn't know him. He's not gonna be on tv or a headline story in the papers. Here's his obituary. RIP Joe.
JOHN F. MORRISON, DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER [email protected]
POSTED: Monday, August 10, 2015, 12:16 AM
IT WAS OK to be afraid; it was not OK to panic.
Fear was natural for the men who flew the bombers over Germany in World War II. It rode with them in their planes like a living entity.
But if you panicked, you couldn't do your job.
That was the way Joe Blinebury described what it was like in those B-17 Flying Fortresses that carried the war to the enemy with dangerous daylight bombing.
Oddly, Joe, who flew 35 missions over Germany, said he calmed down when he slipped into the ball turret, his position under the belly of the plane.
"Down in the ball turret, I was comfortable as [censored]," he told Daily News columnist Stu Bykofsky last year. "It was my parlor."
Joseph A. Blinebury Sr., who flew with the 303rd Bomb Group, the "[censored]'s Angels" of the 8th Air Force, based in England, won a medal for bravery for helping to rescue a man trapped in a wrecked plane. A longtime construction worker and loving father and grandfather, Joe died Aug. 2. He was 96 and lived in Port Richmond.
Unlike a lot of World War II veterans, Joe was not in the least reluctant to talk about his experiences. But when he remembered the men who died in combat, the tears would flow.
"Nights I dream about it," he told Daily News reporter Stephanie Farr. "My every thought of England is of those crew members I lost. I hope the good Lord is good to them."
Joe had reunions with his "baby," the B-17 bomber, in August 2013 and last year at Northeast Philadelphia Airport, where the famed plane was taking reporters for brief rides.
It was not, of course, the actual plane that Joe Blinebury flew in Europe, but it was the same Boeing-built aircraft that helped win the war, and seeing it was an emotional trip for the old veteran.
He didn't dare ride in it, however. "I'm afraid my adrenaline would get too much," he told the newspaper at the 2013 reunion. "I'd be so thrilled that I'm liable to have a heart attack.
"The strength of that plane was something," he told Bykofsky at last year's meeting. "It could take a beating. We'd come back with the hydraulic system gone, holes in the wings, the tail shot off, but she got us back."
The one time the plane crashed was on take-off on his 27th mission. Joe and two other men were able to rescue a crew member trapped inside before the plane burst into flames. He was awarded the Soldiers' Medal for heroism.
The B-17 won its moniker as a "Flying Fortress" because of its bristling array of machine guns - front, back, sides, top and bottom - where Joe was reclining as if in a beach chair, operating his two .50-caliber machine guns with his feet.
Enemy fighter pilots tended to steer clear, but the flak was, as he put it, thick enough to walk on.
"There were 10 of us on a mission, and those 10 men would give their lives for each other," he told Farr. "But come down and play cards at night, and they'd kill you for a dime."
Joe was born in Port Richmond to Gilbert and Catherine Blinebury. He graduated from Northeast Catholic High School in 1937. He worked in construction before enlisting in the Army Air Corps in 1944 at the age of 24. He resumed his work in construction after the war and retired in 1987.
Joe was a loyal local sports fan, especially the Phillies, but he was also a big auto racing fan and made frequent trips to the Indianapolis 500.
An uncle had taken him to his first auto race at the old Langhorne Speedway in 1926, and he got the racing bug.
Joe married Vivian Thompson on Feb. 9, 1946. He once described her as "the best friend I ever had in my life."
"He was a great dad," said his daughter, Patricia Ambruso. "He was fun-loving and he had so many interests. He had a passion for sports, music and cultural events.
"He was always there with gems of wisdom. He was very caring. We learned respect from him."
Besides his wife and daughter, he is survived by two sons, Joseph A. Blinebury Jr. and Lawrence Blinebury; another daughter, Christine Schwartz; a sister, Sister Marita Christi, IHM; three grandchildren and one great-grandson
Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/obituaries/...eZybtlmP9V7o.99