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Dear Sir, I be in search of information concerning 2 B26, appartenent with 451 and 450 Bomber Squadron of 322 Group of Bombardment 9 Air Force, cut down by the D.C.A the 20 July 1944 during a mission on the city of Nantes in France. I know the place of crash of these two planes. Also I have some testimonies. I seek information on the crew and the mission. I am not sure numbers of the planes. How much was plane for this raid? Where are buried the aviators? Thank you for your assistance Christian Chevalier 16 rue Gabriel Goudy 44200 Nantes France N° de l'avion : 41-35021 Nom de l'avion : Group : 322 BG Squadron : 451 BS Type d'avion : Martin B26 Circonstance : Abattu par la D.C.A Lieu du crash : Commune de Vertou au lieu dit La Foresterie Equipage: Pilote : 1Lt William CANFIELD Copilote : Colonel John SIMPSON Navigateur : Lt Hugo CONFORTI Bombardier : Lt James BURNS Mle 0673217 Mécanicien : S/sgt Jack CHIDESTER Radio : T/sgt Hamilton HOFMEISTER Mitrailleur : S/sgt Wilburn HAMPTON Mitrailleur de queue : Sgt Ralph HEHL Mle 35650495 N° de l'avion : 41-31974 Nom de l'avion : Group : 322 BG Squadron : 450 BS Type d'avion : Martin B26 Circonstance : Abattu par la D.C.A Lieu du crash : Commune de Rezé 44 rue du Jaunais Equipage: Pilote : 1Lt Joy DEAN Mle 0790806 Copilote : 1Lt GONET Navigateur : Bombardier : 2Lt Carl SINN Mle 0761260 Mécanicien : Sgt James FOX Radio : T/sgt : John WILLIAMS Mle 39313446 Mitrailleur : S/sgt Charles ABADY Mle 32844879

Trevor's Response:


19th July 1944 two combat boxes, totaling 36 Marauders of the 322nd Bomb Group took off to attack the Nantes RR Bridge, France. There was a 3/10 cloud undercast over France, but there appeared a break in the clouds of twenty miles over the target giving visibility of eight to ten miles. On the bomb run between 1956 - 1957hrs the 1st box ran into moderate accurate flak, but bombed without losing any B26's. The 2nd Box met heavy accurate flak with 41-31974 ER-R in the 3rd flight 2nd Box was hit by flak in the right engine prior to bombs away. Smoke was see coming from this engine with the ship going out of control and turning onto its back before diving into the cloud base. Two parachutes were seen. The lead ship 41-35021 SS-L dropped its bombs before it too was hit by flak. With the left engine on fire it banked steeply to the left with the left wing breaking off and the plane going into a spin to crash just south of the river. One chute was seen at 19.57hrs, a second crew member was seen to leave the B26 but this parachute failed to open. Bombing results were 1st Box 1st flight excellent,1st box 2nd flight excellent,1st box 3rd flight fair 2nd box 1st flight gross error,2nd box 2nd flight poor,2nd box 3rd flight fair 41-35021 SS-L 1.Lt William E Canfield pilot Col.John G Simpson copilot & Group Air executive 1.Lt Hugo E Conforti navigator 1.Lt James J Burns bombardier S/Sgt Jack H Chidester engineer T/Sgt Hamilton J Hofmeister radio Sgt Ralph Hehl gunner S/Sgt Wilbuen W Hampton, gunner 41-31974 ER-R 1.Lt Jay M Dean pilot 1.Lt J P Gonet copilot 2.Lt Carl H Sinn b/n S/Sgt James E Fox engineer T/Sgt John P Williams radio S/Sgt Charles T Abady gunner


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