Julius P.Lewis ,the navigator of the Black Maria II

by Gerardo Ciccone

The Pen

The Pen

Dear Sirs, my name is Gerardo Ciccone, I am Italian and I am 55 years old. I'd like to briefly explane the reason of this mail.
When I was 9 years old, my father gave me a Parker mechanical pencil, with a graven name,
given to him by his father in 1943.
My grandfather found this pen in the woods near his home.
My father told me that, when he was 13 years old, an American plane was shot down and fell not far from their farm; few days later my grandfather found a burnt jacket with this Parker in hits pocket.
Ever since I was a little boy I always wanted to give back the pen to the family of the soldier who died. Many years ago, I was maybe 16, I contacted the US Consulate in Naples to try to find out how to get informations about the soldier's family. Probably the few informations I had and my little experience were not enough to let them give me an answer.
Today, thanks to my father (87-years-old), and internet information, I'm able to say which plane crashed that time.
The name incised on the pen is J.P.LEWIS.T
The plane crashed was the BLACK MARIA II DATE : JANUARY 11, 1943 LOCATION: LIONI - According to the internet information JULIUS P. LEWIS was the navigator of that plane. I would be very grateful to anyone if can help me to find the family of J.P. LEWIS. For any further information, please, don't hesitate to contact me.
Yours faithfully,
Gerardo Ciccone

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May 03, 2021
Cecil Buttram
by: Anonymous

Hello my name is Walter cook
Idk if you will ever read this but I am a descendant of Cecil Buttram who was killed on the Black Mariah II

My email is franklinpcleburne@gmail.com

Feb 11, 2021
Family Contacted
by: Anonymous

I've previously contacted a surviving family member about this, let him know about the search, and put him in contact with Matteo Pierro, in 2019. I don't know if anything further was ever pursued by the family. They have at least been notified.

Apr 17, 2020
by: Micah Mallory

That is literally astonishing what you have there. The B-24 Liberator that Lewis was in, being shot out of the sky most likely made the pen fly out of the bomber. Most likely the very pen Lewis used to write on his charts and notes. I myself have come into possession of a letter belonging to another crew member. Cecil G. Buttram

From what I understand most of these men had no children at the time of their death. As a result their family legacy has not continued with them. I still am in the process of conducting research. The Liberator ironically was shot down on my Birthday, January 11th. If I am able to find any family members still alive I will tell you as soon as possible. If not, I highly recommend finding someone who will truly cherish the pen as the piece of history it is. So, it is not lost forever.

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At the 2017 reunion, the board approved the donation of our archives to the Briscoe Center for American History, located on the University of Texas - Austin campus.

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My Trip to San Pancrazio

October 2019


NOTE change in month !!!

DATES: Oct 26-29, 2023

CITY:Tucson, AZ

HOTEL: Double Tree Suites Airport hotel

7051 South Tucson Blvd., Tucson, AZ 85756


Click here to read about the reunion details.

previous reunions

For Sale

The Other Doolittle Raid

The Broken Wings of Zlatibor

The Liberandos

Three Crawford Brothers

Liberando: Reflections of a Reluctant Warrior

376th Bomb Group Mission History

The Last Liberator

Full Circle

Shadows of Wings

Ten Men, A "Flying Boxcar," and A War

I Survived Ploesti

A Measure of Life

Shot Down In Yugoslavia

Stories of My Life


Born in Battle

Bombardier's Diary

Lost Airmen

Langdon Liberando