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B-17 42-37872 Memorial

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Details:

The stele is at the end of the path after the cabins.


Marker

A thick rectangular tablet on top of a plinth. The tablet is inscribed with a commemoration message and the crew members of the plane and their roles that are written in French. Depicted images are the US flag, a B-17, and the flag of France. The memorial was erected in 2016 in memory of the seven members of the crew who died in an incident on January 5, 1944.

 

Hit by flak over Mérignac or by a German fighter, the B-17 n° 42-37872 tried to return to the coast; some of the crew had time to parachute before the plane crashed and caught fire. The unfortunate airmen who could not (or would not) leave the bomber perished in the fire or in the crash. Witnessing the tragedy, oyster farmers and sailors from Gujan came to the rescue of the airmen who had fallen into the water and were tangled up in their parachutes; they were only able to hand them over to the occupying troops stationed nearby who rushed to the scene without a fight. This is how the German soldiers took three prisoners without having to fire a single shot, and the American military authorities were informed of this no later than January 11, 1944.  These were three of the machine gunners: Sergeants Shockley, Luxenberger, and Thorgren, who were to return to service after their release.

 

The crew:

2Lt

Richard W

Huff

Pilot

KIA 

2Lt

William J

Brooks

Co-Pilot

KIA 

2Lt

Angelo J

Landolfo

Navigator

KIA 

2Lt

William R

Boggess

Bombardier

KIA 

S/Sgt

Daniel F

Zullo

Mechanic/

Gunner

KIA 

S/Sgt

Millard J

Patterson

Radio Operator/Gunner

KIA 

S/Sgt

Paul E

Eberhardt

Ball Turret Gunner

KIA 

S/Sgt

Karl F

Shockley

Tail Gunner

POW 

S/Sgt

Joseph E

Luxenberger

Left Waist Gunner

POW 

S/Sgt

Ernest R

Thorgren

Right Waist Gunner

POW 

Source of information: Bulletin 142 at www.fichier-pdf.fr, www.aerosteles.net, francecrashes39-45.net

Source of photos: www.aerosteles.net

Monument Text:

A LA MEMOIRE DES SEPT AVIATEURS AMERICAINS

DECEDES LE 5 JANVIER 1944 DANS LE CRASH

DU B-17: 42-37872 DEVANT GUJAN-MESTRAS.

 

2 ND LIEUTENANT RICHARD W. HUFF, PILOTE

STAFF/SERGEANT DANIEL F. ZULLO, MECANICIEN

2 ND LIEUTENANT WILLIAM J. BROOKS, CO-PILOTE

STAFF/SERGEANT MILLARD J. PATTERSON, RADIO

2 ND LIEUTENANT ANGELO J. LANDOLFO, NAVIGATEUR

STAFF/SERGEANT PAUL E. EBERHARDT, MITRAILLEUR

2 ND LIEUTENANT WILLIAM R. BOGGESS, BOMBARDIER

 

 

 

English translation:

 

IN MEMORY OF THE SEVEN AMERICAN AIRMEN

KILLED ON JANUARY 5, 1944 IN THE CRASH OF

OF THE B-17: 42-37872 IN THE VICINITY OF GUJAN-MESTRAS.

 

2 ND LIEUTENANT RICHARD W. HUFF, PILOT

STAFF/SERGEANT DANIEL F. ZULLO, MECHANIC

2 ND LIEUTENANT WILLIAM J. BROOKS, CO-PILOT

STAFF/SERGEANT MILLARD J. PATTERSON, RADIO OPERATOR

2 ND LIEUTENANT ANGELO J. LANDOLFO, NAVIGATor

STAFF/SERGEANT PAUL E. EBERHARDT, MACHINE GUNNER

2 ND LIEUTENANT WILLIAM R. BOGGESS, BOMBARDIER

 

 

 

Commemorates:

Units:

708th Bomber Squadron, 447th Bomber Group, Heavy

US Army Air Corps

Wars:

WWII

Other images :