De B-24J Liberator 42-109807 ‘Tennessee Dottie’ van de 445th Bomb Group werd hier op 12 april 1944 neergehaald door Focke-Wulfs van het Jagdgeschwader 26. Het monument werd onthuld op 1 juni 1996 en bestaat uit een gedenkplaat in staal met een glazen afdekking die is bevestigd op een granieten sokkel. Ernaast staan twee palen voorzien van een paneel.
Monument met als opschrift:
‘POUR QUE LE TEMPS N’EFFACE RIEN
Ici est mort pour notre liberté
un officier pilote americain
dans son liberator B24J.
du 445 Bomber Group
Hieronder de lijst met de bemanningsleden en hun lot:
Pilot 1st Lt John B. Anderson (+), Co-pilot 2nd Lt Jack C. Juras (EVD), Navigator 2nd Lt Walter P. McHugh (EVD), Bomber 2nd Lt Lawrence J. Ebenkamp (EVD), Engineer T/Sgt Michael Bungo (EVD), RO T/Sgt Milton C. Stremple (POW), BT S/Sgt Cornelius J. Harrington (POW), LW S/Sgt Albert P. Horvath (POW), RW S/Sgt George P. Kountz (POW) en TT S/Sgt Francis J. Rogalski (POW).
Een heel aardige reactie kwam van Ken Harrington, US (24 mei 2012):
Thank you for your article ‘Monument voor bemanning B-24 42-109807’ My late father C. J Harrington was a crew member of that plane. He always spoke in the highest terms of the Belgian people who helped him evade capture. He was picked up by a moto bicyclist and taken to local resistance members. He was turned in by a Rexist priest of the Fascist movement of Belgium. He was kept in Saint Gilles prison in Brussels. Thank you once again. Danke
Info Renaud Hauquier (13/01/2013):
J’habite à Oret et j’ai été amené, à la demande de mon ami Philippe De Ridder (historien local à l’origine de l’édification du momument), à rencontrer au Texas l’un des membres de l’équipage de ce B24 (Albert Horvath).
Info Kevin Harrington (14/01/2013):
I’m very happy to hear that a member of my father’s B-24 Crew is still alive. My father was in the ball turret and Staff Sergeant Albert Horvath was a waist gunner so he fought/flew in proximity to my dad. I know my father said he had difficulty getting out of his damaged turret. I don’t know how Lt. John Anderson was killed, but I suspect someone was flying the plane when my father jumped. My dad jumped with sufficient time for his parachute to deploy as he saw German planes Me 109’s I think still flying around. He hurt his ankle when he hit a pole just before landing and was taken away by a Belgian on a motor bike. A few months later a Rexist, from the Belgian SS General Léon Joseph Marie Ignace Degrelle’s movement, turned him in and he was imprisoned in St. Giles prison in Brussels. My Father spoke sufficient French to pass as a Fleming with accented French.
Any information or pictures are very welcome.
Info Kevin Harrington (15/01/2013):
I don’t know my father’s prisoner of war camp. He said he took a very long march the winter of 1944-45 fleeing the Soviet Army. He ended up in a prison camp adjacent to the rocket base at Peenemunde.
My Dad was shot down on April 12th and he was not captured by D-day. He said he had identity papers describing his occupation as ‘distiller’. But the effectiveness of the Belgian resistance is testified that all the officers in my father’s plane evaded capture and were returned to their air bases.
Info Kevin Harrington (16/01/2013):
When my father was liberated in May of 1945 from his prison camp he was 90 lbs/42 kilos. He spent a year in a Veterans hospital in the Bronx before he was able to return to his pre-war job as a bus driver in Manhattan for the Fifth-Avenue Coach Company. He became a union activist in the 1950’s rising to the highest office in his division and was a leader in the famous 1966 New York City wide Strike. After retiring from his Bus company in 1966 he began to teach bus and truck driving as part of a poverty program to help poor people get better jobs. He died in 1986 of a heart attack.
Info Terrance McHugh (25 December 2015):
My name is Terrance McHugh and my father was navigator on that flight. I read the comments from Kevin Harrington asking for information. I would like to contact him. I am writing a book about this crash and what my father went through. Thank you for any help you can give me.
Terrance McHugh,Columbia, South Carolina, USA