42-51258 Crash on Feb 25, 1945 in Belgium

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Title

42-51258 Crash on Feb 25, 1945 in Belgium

Description

From Yves de Ryckel:
I’ve original photos of the B-24J 42-51258 J+ crash site. (44th BG 66th Squadron)
The photos were taken by my father in law, Thierry de Pierpont, immediately after the crash that happened on February 25th, 1945
For some strange reason, this crash was not recorded in the 8th USAF reports.
It was rather hard to find information on that crash and to find the exact place, not far from my home.
Thanks to David and Vincent who helped a lot to determine the location and the aircraft.
Here are the details found in the 44th Bomb Group Roll Of Honor and Casualties book from Will Lundy, page 408.
25 February 1945
Marshalling Yards, Aschaffenburg, Germany
Thirty-five of the 44th BG aircraft attacked this target with excellent results. The weather was clear, no flak in the target area, and our fighters offered excellent cover. Yet one aircraft did not return – and it was not recorded in the official records of the Group.
66th SQUADRON:
66th Sq., #42-51258 J+, Derrick BEVERLY JEAN Low on fuel, parachuted
66th Squadron Crew:
DERRICK, JAMES V. Pilot 1st Lt. Jacksboro,
ASN 0-721660 Returned Texas
MEYERS, JOSEPH G. Co-pilot Flt Of Baltimore,
ASN T-128326 Broken Back/Evacuated Maryland
THOMAS, ROGER J. Navigator 2nd Lt. Wheaton,
ASN 0-2066074 Neck injury Illinois
ANTHONY, ROBERT I. Nose Turret S/Sgt. Baltimore,
ASN 13141785 Returned Maryland
BROWN, CLARENCE J. Engineer T/Sgt. Wallingford,
ASN 32938216 Broken Leg/Evacuated Vermont
BROWN, HARRY R. Radio Oper. T/Sgt. Long Beach,
ASN 19203793 Broken leg California
HORTON, STARR W. Waist Gun. S/Sgt. Miami Shores,
ASN 34910189 Returned Florida
STROH, DONALD E. Waist Gun. S/Sgt. Denver,
ASN 36822565 Minor injuries Colorado
ANDRES, ROBERT J. Tail Turret S/Sgt. Kildier,
ASN 36784563 Returned Illinois
Sgt. Donald E. Stroh wrote that, “I always was under the impression that we ran out of gas while looking for an airfield at Charleroi in the fog, to set down in. But Lt. Meyers and navigator Lt.Thomas told me that we had been hit, (probably by flak) and we had lost fuel out of one engine.
They had been transferring gas to the other three supply tanks in order not to lose all of it.”
Co-pilot Joseph Meyers added, “We were very close to an auxiliary landing field in Charleroi, Belgium, but did not have time to locate the field. So Lt. Derrick and I took the plane back up to 3,000 feet and we all jumped.
“I landed in an open field after believing that I was going to hit a wire fence, pulled the shrouds to miss the fence and landed hard. I was rescued from the very beautiful local girls by some GIs from an AA Station. On the way to town, we picked up other crewmembers and we all met at a local hospital where we were attended by American physicians.
“I carried Harry Brown’s parachute as he was limping – his leg was broken. Upon the insistence of the physicians, I had to be X-rayed – walked into the X-ray room – and left on a stretcher and spent the next three months flat on my back and six more recuperating. Ended up in Plattsburg,
New York, along with Clarence Brown and his badly broken leg.
“Most of the crew returned to duty but did not fly again as a crew until 19 March. I was finished on this, my eighth one. Lt. Derrick continued flying till end of hostilities.”
The 42-51258 B-24 photo is the aircraft when she was operated in another squadron.(492nd BG, 856th BS.)
Photos of the wreckage in February 1945.
GPS location is shown from where I was with my jeep when I was trying to recognize the landscape from the photos.

Collection

Citation

“42-51258 Crash on Feb 25, 1945 in Belgium,” 44th Bomb Group Archive, accessed May 24, 2024, https://44thbombgroup.omeka.net/items/show/3255.

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