Theodore ‘Ted’ Zivanidis was the eldest of three children born to Greek immigrants, Athanasios ‘Thanos or Thomas’ Zivanidis and Elizabeth (Krettecos) Zivanidis.
Ted’s father and his maternal uncle, James Krettecos co-owned and operated an Altoona, PA, restaurant at the time of Ted’s birth. Later, Ted’s family moved to Buffalo, New York. Ted never married and has no known direct descendants.
On 15 Nov 1939, Ted enlisted in the New York National Guard and served honorable for at least two years in Battery F of the 244th Coastal Artillery. He received an honorably discharge from the New York National Guard on 18 Mar 1944 and accepted a US Army Air Corps officer’s appointment.
Ted served as the Bombardier on the B-17G, #446140 ‘Miss Lace,’ on 30 Nov 1944 when it encountered heavy flak over the target, the Brabag Synthetic Oil Plant just northeast of Zeitz, Germany.
After a near explosion of flak, the plane lost its right wing and entered a vertical spiral while ablaze. It broke into two sections: the tail/waist section, which landed near Threna, Germany, and the nose section, which crashed into District 7 of the Oberholz Forest near Großpösna, Germany.
German citizens recovered partial and complete human remains and military identification tags for Ted and other crew members seated in the nose section of the plane in the forest debris field.
The citizens of Großpösna placed five sets of remains in individual coffins, which were buried in their town cemetery. The US Army exhumed these sets of remains in late June 1945.
Remains for Theodore ‘Ted’ Zivanidis were not identified from the remains recovered at that time.
His death was confirmed solely through the German action of retrieving his dog tag in the Oberholz Forest.
The status of his remains currently remains “unrecoverable.”
Killed in Action — 30 Nov 1944 — unrecovered remains