B-24J 42-100322 Liberator ‘Come Along Boys’

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B-24J 42-100322 ‘Come Along Boys’

A walk in low cloud early in September 2020 with Sean of UK Air Crash Site Coordinates to visit three air crash sites in the Forest of Bowland. Not great conditions for photography but then this was how the weather was when an American bomber crashed on a remote hill in 1945, killing four of those on board. Grid ref at bottom of this page.

02 January 1945, the Liberator bomber of 714th Bomb Squadron was being flown from the USAAF base at RAF Seething south east of Norwich to the air depot at Warton, near Preston. The aircraft was due to return to the USA and additional to the five air crew were fourteen passengers – five airmen due to fly another bomber back to Norfolk and nine passengers taking leave in Blackpool.

In low cloud and rain, pilot First Lt Holt struggled to maintain visual contact with the ground. The clouds closed in and First Lt Holt – realising he needed to gain height with the high ground below – pulled back on the stick but alas the tail of the bomber struck the top of Burn Fell and crashed through a dry-stone wall. Surprisingly, fifteen of the nineteen airmen on board survived, though were injured of course.

Crew (all survived but were injured)

Pilot: First Lieutenant Carl H Holt
Co-pilot: Second Lieutenant Allen H Carey
Navigator: Second Lieutenant Marshall K Dan
Flight engineer: Technical Sergeant Donald Zeldin
Radio Operator: Sergeant Oscar W Olson

Passengers killed

First Lieutenant James E Fields
Second Lieutenant Orvie O Casto
Technical Sergeant Phillip Mazzagatti
Staff Sergeant Edgar E Lyon

Passengers survived (injured)

Second Lieutenant Cortland C Crandall
Second Lieutenant Joseph B Brown
Second Lieutenant Richard G Seymour
Technical Sergeant Francis N Louthan
Staff Sergeant Michael J Hill
Staff Sergeant Bertram O Chernow
Staff Sergeant John J Madden
Sergeant John C Jacobs
Sergeant Robert M Brandon
Sergeant Mack S Thomas

This aircraft crashed the same day as this USAAF B-17 which crashed in the Peak Distict
Flying Fortress 43-38944

There’s not much on the ground; an obvious burnt out patch, some blobs of molten metal, the remains of a wheel, bits of perspex etc. By the wall, through which the B-24 crashed, a memorial stone has been placed. There is also a large wooden cross.

This is a photo of a B-24J also of 714th Bomb Squadron (44-10547 ‘Jokers Wild’)

The memorial at the crash site

Grid reference SD 67123 53127

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