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B-24 42-95133 Lady Jane Plaque

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Details:

Affixed on the left wall beside the entrance door.


Plaque

A grey rectangular plaque with curved upper edge, inscribed in English in relief lettering. On the top-center of the plaque is the relief of the 8th Air Force insignia. The plaque commemorates the fallen crew of the B-24 #42-95133 “Lady Jane”. Another plaque on the bottom tells the original placement of the plaque.

 

The crew of B-24 42-95133:

2Lt

Ralph J Dooley

Pilot

2Lt

Burton W Wheeler, Jr 

Co-pilot

2Lt

Paul E Gorman

Navigator

2Lt

John Kowalczuk

Bombardier

S/Sgt 

Paul A Wadsworth

Radio Operator

S/Sgt

Johnie J Jones

Flight Engineer

S/Sgt

John A Phillips

Top Turret Gunner 

S/Sgt

Oscar B Nelson

Ball Turret Gunner

S/Sgt

Ralph W VonBergen

Waist Gunner

S/Sgt

Don P Quirk

Tail Turret Gunner

 

2Lt Ralph Dooley and crew were assigned to the group on a busy day.   Two of its combat crews (one on Detached Service to Scotland) were lost on operational missions, and one crew crashed during a training flight.  Dooley had arrived just in time to partake in the Truckin' Missions during September, flying four of these gas hauls to Lille, France.  At the beginning of October the group went back on operational status.  Dooley and crew had a rather short career with the group, flying eight combat missions (not including two abortive attempts) in their 10 weeks with the group.   Unfortunately their tour ended abruptly, not in combat, but on a practice mission on a cold and foggy November day just before Thanksgiving.

 

2Lt Burton Wheeler and 2Lt John Kowalczuk were not on the practice mission that day.  They would later both complete their tours and be rotated back to the States.   Flying as co-pilot that day was Ralph Dooley's good friend, 2Lt Arthur C. Akin who had his own crew.  Akin and Dooley were both assigned with their crews on the same day.  He was filling in for Burton Wheeler who had just lost his brother, a pilot in the 94th Bomb Group flying B-17's out of Bury St. Edmonds.  John Kowalczuk was not along, as he had been removed from the crew to undergo training to be a lead bombardier.

 

DESCRIPTION OF ACCIDENT - Report No. 45-11-24-516

On 24 November 1944 at 1730 hours, A/C B-24 (H) 42-95133 returning from a Practice Mission and in the process of making an instrument landing approach to AAF Station 123. The weather was: 3900 yards Viz, with 400-600 foot ceiling, 10/10ths coverage and the wind NW at 12-14MPH.

 

The A/C hit the steeple of St. Philips Church on Hamm [sic] (actually Heigham) Road, damaging the right wing and right tail assembly and continued 1000 yards, apparently in normal flight at which time the right wing dropped and the ship crashed and burned.  Wreckage shows that landing gear was retracted.

Source of information: Imperial War Museum War Memorials Register, www.458bg.com

Source of image: Imperial War Museum War Memorials Register

Monument Text:

TO THE MEMORY OF THE

UNDERMENTIONED MEMBERS OF

753RD SQUADRON, 458TH BOMB GROUP

2ND BOMBARDMENT DIVISION U.S.A.A.F.

WHO DIED NEAR THIS SPOT

24TH NOVEMBER 1944

 

THE PILOT OF THE BOMBER AS HIS

LAST ACT AVOIDED CRASHING ON

THIS AND SURROUNDING COTTAGES

THUS PREVENTING THE POSSIBLE

LOSS OF CIVILIAN LIVES

 

2/LT. RALPH J. DOOLEY,

PILOT. 744 E. ONTARIO STREET,

PHILADELPHIA, PA.

2/LT. ARTHUR AKIN JR.

PILOT. 92 WALLACE CIRCLE,

PORTSMOUTH, VA.

2/LT. PAUL E. GORMAN,

NAVIGATOR. 2542 E. 29TH ST.

BROOKLYN, N.Y.

S/SGT. JOHN J. JONES,

WAIST GNR. GENERAL DELIVERY.

GEM., TEXAS.

S/SGT. PAUL A. WADSWORTH,

RADIO OPERATOR. BOX 635,

FORSAN, TEXAS.

S/SGT. OSCAR B. NELSON,

BALL TURRET GUNNER.

VASHON, WASH.

S/SGT. JOHN A. PHILLIPS,

ENGINEER. NORTH MAIN ST.

NORWOOD, NORFOLK, N.Y.

S/SGT. DON P. QUIRK,

TAIL GUNNER.

MUNCIE, IND.

S/SGT. RAPLH VON BERGEN,

WAIST GUNNER. 607 LIPAN ST.

DENVER, COLO.

 

 

THE ABOVE TABLET WAS REMOVED

FROM THE NORTH SIDE OF HEIGHAM

STREET UPON REDEVELOPMENT IN 1972

 

Commemorates:

People:

Arthur Claude, Jr. Akin

Ralph John Scott Dooley

Paul Edward Gorman

Johnie J. Jones

Oscar Bjarne Nelson

John A. Phillips

Don P. Quirk

Ralph W. von Bergen

Paul Amos Wadsworth

Units:

458th Bombardment Group (Heavy)

753rd Bomber Squadron, 458th Bomber Group (Heavy)

8th Air Force

US Army Air Corps

Wars:

WWII