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Crash B-17 fortress Flyng Bull Dogs

Détail

  • Nom
    Crash B-17 fortress Flyng Bull Dogs
  • Date
    1943-09-16
  • Lieu
    SAINTE-ANNE-SUR-VILAINE
  • Contribution
    Eric Le Bourvellec
  • ID
    3356.3480

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Memorials
Crash B-17 fortress Flyng Bull Dogs
Crash B-17 fortress Flyng Bull Dogs

Stele in memory of the American crew of the B-17 Fortress "Flyng Bull Dogs" of the 379th Bomb Group, 526th Bomb Squadron of the 8th US Air Force Army, shot down on September 16, 1943 by a German Focke Wulf 190 fighter at this location. 

 6 crew members were killed:

★ S/Sgt Clifford M Hart, machine gunner, rests in Saint-James Cemetery Plot A, Row 18, Grave 4.
★ 2nd/Lt Walter Courtney Euwer, pilot, lies in St James Cemetery Plot A, Row 17, Grave 6.
★ 2nd/Lt Leonard M Brown,co-pilot, lies in St James Cemetery Plot A, Row 18, Grave 3.
★ 2nd/Lt Sten AR Evans, navigator, lies in St James Cemetery Plot A, Row 18, Grave 1.
★ 2nd/Lt Edward F Connoly, bombardier, lies in Saint-James Cemetery Plot A, Row 18, Grave 5.
★ T/Sgt Louis A Hamilton, machine-gunner, rests in Saint-James cemetery Plot A, Row 18, Grave 2.  

4 others were taken prisoner:

★ T/Sgt Samuel N Blachford, Radio
★ S/Sgt Cyril G Koval, Machine Gunner
★ S/Sgt Alfred D Held, machine gunner.
★ S/Sgt Elmer W Schroeder, machine gunner.

LEST WE FORGET

Thursday, September 18, 1943, early afternoon, an American squadron comprising 131 bombers escorted by 79 fighters advances towards Nantes on a mission to bomb the port, railway station and airfield.
Seven aircraft were shot down, including one at Champeaux near Vitré and three in the middle Vilaine at Ercée-en-La Mée, Messac and Sainte-Anne-sur-Villaine.
Each crew comprised 10 men. Of these 40 young aviators, 11 were killed in action, and 11 were captured by the Germans shortly after landing, 5 later.
With the help of the local population and the Resistance, the remaining 13 managed to reach England.
B17 Boeing no. 42-29901 piloted by Walter Cover goes down in flames, here south of the village of Le Terbe, below the "Fernand" field.
Radio man Samuel Blachford, an Apache Indian from Arizona, the youngest of the entire squad - he's only 19 - manages to jump northwest of La Melais. Seriously wounded in the back and foot by a rocket and bullets, he was taken in by Jean-Baptiste Rabu and P.P. alias Paul-Henri le Breton, a young STO refractory from Messac.

Three others managed to jump out, while machine-gunners Alfred Held, Elmer Schroeder and Cyril Koval were hidden by local residents.

 The rest of the crew were lost in the aircraft.

Through the intermediary of Marie Moquel and Quantiln Bocherel, the 4 survivors were transferred to the other bank of the Vilaine, from a fisherman's hut belonging to Marcel Leblanc, a member of the Redon F.N./FTP group.
A fifth, Jach Belstein, who had fallen at Plechatel from another plane, the El Diablo, was brought to the hut.
Blatchford, Held and Schroeder were evacuated by Gaston Sébilleau to Lizio, where they stayed for two months, assisted by the Busson couple and René Jouanguy. They were arrested in Paris on Christmas Eve 1943.
Blatchford was severely tortured by the Gestapo, first in Fresnes and then in Germany, before being deported to Austria, where he was reunited with his two comrades.

According to the American press, Samuel Blatchford is the most decorated Indian in the United States.

Evacuated to Pipriac, then Paramé and the Dinan-Ploërmel sector, Koval and Belstein managed to reach England via Spain during the winter of 1943-1944.

The bombardment of Nantes, in which these 4 aircraft did not take part as they had been shot down beforehand, resulted in numerous casualties: 812 dead, 1,765 wounded, more than 10,000 victims, 500 buildings destroyed and as many seriously damaged. Nantes was attacked again on the following September 23.


Contribution and photo credit Le Bourvellec Eric

 
Crash B-17 fortress Flyng Bull Dogs
Crash B-17 fortress Flyng Bull Dogs.
Memoriaux
Crash B-17 fortress Flyng Bull Dogs
Crash B-17 fortress Flyng Bull Dogs.
Memoriaux
Crash B-17 fortress Flyng Bull Dogs
Crash B-17 fortress Flyng Bull Dogs.
Memoriaux

Crash B-17 fortress Flyng Bull Dogs

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