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Author Topic: USAAF B-24 Lost in Mid-Air Explosion near Acol, Thanet, 20th February 1944  (Read 226 times)

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Offline Dave Smith

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Amen to that, bilgerat.  Afraid the younger generation have no idea of the sacrifice, how would they, even their parents were a long way from being born? I'm glad there are reminders of that history at places like the American Cemetery at Madingley, Cambs. ( 3,800+ graves & a "wall" for 5000 more),The American Air Museum at IWM Duxford and a few smaller places in E. Anglia.This July 4th was the 75th anniversary of the first bombing raid on German targets by the 8th Air Force. (And before anyone thinks- or says- " what about the German civilians?", my answer would be, " if you were in London during the time of the " blitz", you wouldn't ask- and I am well aware that two wrongs don't make a right!).

Offline Bilgerat

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Ten of the more than 26,000 young Americans killed during the 8th Army Air Force's European campaign between August 1942 and the end of the war in Europe in 1945. The 8th Army Air Force sustained half of the total casualties suffered by the U.S. Army Air Forces during the Second World War. People who were died in the cause of OUR freedom.
"I did not say that the French will not come, I said they will not come by sea" - Lord St Vincent

Offline Dave Smith

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How very sad. After a pretty horrendous return flight,they must have been on final approach to Manston ( about 3 miles from Acol).So near & yet so far!

Offline HERB COLLECTOR

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Consolidated B-24H Liberator 42-7529 'Coral Princess' of the 579th Bombardment Squadron, 392th Bombardment Group US Army Air Force, based at Wendling in Norfolk.

During a raid on Germany, bombing Helmstedt as a secondary target, the group came under attack by enemy fighters. Three aircraft were lost, two making crash landings in England at Southend and Tibenden. The third aircraft, the heavily damaged 'Coral Princess', was attempting an emergency landing at Manston when it exploded in mid-air killing all on board near town of Acol at 1600hr, 20th February 1944.

1st Lt John B Peyton: pilot.
2nd Lt Arthur P Rueffer: co pilot.
2nd Lt George Gregory: navigator.
2nd Lt Herbert E Demontier: bombardier.
Technical Sgt Orville L Smith: Engineer/top gunner.
T Sgt Daniel Conner Jr: radio operator.
Staff Sgt Bermarr J Berglund: gunner.
S Sgt Ralph T Bass: waist gunner.
S Sgt Kermit C LaVick: waist gunner.
S Sgt Roy E Welch: tail gunner.

More details of the raid, along with a photo of the remains of 'Coral Princess', @ http://www.b24.net/MM022044.htm

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