TSgt Leo George Copulos
Osaka Castle
8 June 2020


499th Bomb Group (VH), 877th Bomb Squadron
AIRCRAFT COMMANDER
AIRCRAFT SERIAL NUMBER
NICKNAME
NEWELL
44-69655
Margie Lou

 


27 June 1940 - 15 August 1945
source : John Lehnen


There are details in the Newell Crew and Case History 328 pages that are not presented here. Additional information can be found within the Osaka Castle Virtual Cemetery created by Scott Muselin.

Leo George Copulos was born June 27, 1920 and grew up in the Detroit area. His father died in either 1934 or 1935 and by 1940 his mom had married James Condilis.

He enlisted on 10 October 1942 and from February through September 1943 had some interesting assignments. The first document below this introduction has a list of his stations and some of them in early 1943 are a puzzle to me. His enlistment record follows the list of stations.

He arrived at Smoky Hills AAF ( SHAAF ) in Salina Kansas in June 1944 and became a part of the Newell crew as a CFC gunner. His station list clarifies dates concerning movement from SHAAF to Hamilton Field. A few documents at the Newell Crew page provide minimal details of this transfer. The crew arrived on Saipan 19 December 1944.

The B-29 that he was on crashed close to Osaka, most likely from anti-aircraft fire, 26 june 1945. TSgt Copulos was one of 9 survivors and ended up at the prison at Osaka Castle.

All were executed at various times during August 1945 with the last taking place 15 August 1945.

There is overlap between the Recovery and Identifcation sections but between the two you will notice that there was a considerable amount of time between his initial recovery at Osaka and his identification in 1948.

Within Senator Ferguson's section are letters about Mrs Lucille Condilis, none actually to or from her. This changes with four letters in the Coming Home section that are addressed to Mrs. Condilis. These provide her with information that had eluded her since the first notification of her son being missing in action in July 1945.

A letter from Major General Edward Witsell to Senator Ferguson, dated 24 August 1948, states that the date and specific cause of TSgt Leo G Copulos' death cannot be determined. This is followed by a reference to Public Law 490 and the reasoning behind this decision.

There are four documents in the Official Documents section. Two are Battle Casualty Reports, with the first one indicating Missing in Action and the second updated to Killed In Action while a POW of the Japanese Government. The Reports of Death include the original followed by a Corrected Report indicating date of death as 15 August 1945.

My thanks to the following for providing material for this page:

John Lehnen
Scott Muselin
Most of the documents in these pages are from
Roy Wall ( IDPF from St Louis National Archives )

 



ASSIGNMENTS IN THE UNITED STATES
FEBRUARY 1943 THROUGH DECEMBER 1944

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ENLISTMENT RECORD
PAGE 1

source: National Archives

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ENLISTMENT RECORD
PAGE 2

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