Recording memories for future generations
From The Top Turret_cover

Just released – Military Memoir of WWII Air Force vet, top turret gunner who survived Black Thursday crash

Editors note: Caporaso was assistant post master in Chatham, New Jersey for 54 years and has been a member of the Chatham Fire Department for more than 65 years. Recent photos are posted here. Additional images are available upon request.



June 25, 2014 –  Documented Legacy, a mobile personal historian company based in Mount Laurel, New Jersey, has announced the publication of its first military memoir about a World War II veteran, who survived a plane crash on Black Thursday in October 1943 and 19 months as a prisoner of war before a 300-mile Death March to return home and build the American dream.

From the Top Turret: A Memoir of World War II and the American dream (Amazon) is a true life story of Gerard Caporaso’s courage, faith, family and commitment. It is filled with sage lessons, written by Caporaso, 93, of Summit, New Jersey, and co-written by Mary V. Danielsen of Documented Legacy.  The book takes readers on his tumultuous journey from training in the U.S. Eighth Air Force during World War II to the moment when the B-17 he was manning in the top turret, the Dottie J III, crash landed in a field outside Thiacourt, France during the second invasion on Schweinfurt, Germany and his survival as a prisoner of war.

Imprisoned in Stalag XVIIB in the village of Gneixendorf, Austria, Caporaso watched brutal German guards take hostile command of their perceived authority on life, slowly peeling away every layer of a manʼs dignity. Yet, only a prison camp full of ingenious engineers could find so many uses for the contents of a Red Cross parcel. In the spring of 1945 he survived a 300-mile Death March in the rain and snow on little to no food or water until he and fellow prisoners were rescued by Allied troops.  Caporaso retired from the Air Force with the rank of Master Sargent.

The full-color 7” x 10” book is filled with images from his childhood in Chatham, training in Texas in the early 1940s, family snapshots and his recent tours on a restored B-17. It is available in paperback (37.99) on Amazon and an  ebook version (9.99) is set to be released in July.