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18.09.1944. 491BG 854BS B-24J 44-40210 Capt. Hunter Location: Northeast of Udenhout, Holland
This reproduced page is from our first website. It is now listed for review and reconstruction to a new high standard, as with many such pages it holds inaccuracies created by an inappropriate cause to be disclosed.

Mission: Eindhoven, Holland (Market Garden supply drop, 101st Airborne Zone)

Date: 18th September 1944

Unit: 491st BG 854th BS, 8th Air Force, Heavy

Type: Consolidated B-24J-150-CO Liberator

Serial: 44-40210

Code: 6X-

Base: Metfield. Suffolk.

Location: Northeast of Udenhout, Holland

Pilot: Capt. James K. Hunter. 0-799024. U.S.A.A.F. Killed

Co-Pilot: Capt. Anthony B. Mitchell. 0-659391. U.S.A.A.F. Killed (1)

Navigator: 1st Lt. Harry B. Parker. 0-694701. U.S.A.A.F. Killed

Bombardier: 1st Lt. John R. Granat. 0-754955. U.S.A.A.F. Killed

Nose Turret Gunner: 1st Lt. William H. Byrne. 0-814244. U.S.A.A.F. Killed

Engineer/ Top Turret Gunner: T/Sgt. Cecil E. Hutson. 18127645. U.S.A.A.F. Killed

Radio Operator: T/Sgt. Barto J. Montalbano. 32692213. U.S.A.A.F. Killed

Right Waist Gunner: S/Sgt. James L. Evers. 34588582. U.S.A.A.F. Killed

Left Waist Gunner: S/Sgt. Frank DiPalma. U.S.A.A.F. Evaded (2)

Drop Master: P.F.C. George E. Parrish. Drop Master. 34664935. U.S.A.A.F. Killed (3)

REASON FOR LOSS:

The aircraft was badly hit in the right wing and the pilot, Capt. James K. Hunter decided to belly her into a field, but lost the no. 3 engine at an altitude of 50ft., causing the right wing to dip low enough to touch the ground. Capt. Hunter managed to pull the plane back into the air after hitting the ground, only for it to crash into some trees and farm buildings.

The normal pilot, 1st Lt. Charles Griffin had finished his tour of missions and wasn’t allowed to go on this one. Since there was a real competition to be included on this mission Capt. Mitchell and a Capt. Shy flipped a coin to see who got to fly with Capt. Hunter, and Capt. Mitchell “won”. Lt. Griffin took out his frustration like he always did by flying low over “The Wash” and blowing over sailboats

S/Sgt. Frank DiPalma was found walking away from the wreckage by some Franciscan Monks and hidden in the Huize Assisi. Father Vinkenburg and three Dutch doctors treated his severe burns and kept him hidden till the British liberated the town. The doctors were Dr. J.B.M. Veraart, Dr. G.A.H.M. Wessels and Dr. J.H.C.M. De Volk.

All the planes on this mission carried a “drop master” to supervise the dropping of the supplies and this is how P.F.C. Parrish made it on the aircraft

b-24-491bg-18-9-44-44-40210-crash-cropped
The moment of impact as the B-24s starboard wing hits the ground. Moments later the aircraft became airborne again crashing into haystack and farm buildings in the right hand corner of this photo.
margraten-cemetery.
Margraten, Netherlands, American Cemetery.
Burial details:

Capt. James K. Hunter. Netherlands American Cemetery, Margraten, Netherlands. Plot D, Row 21, Grave 7 Entered the service from Minnesota. Awards: Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters, Purple Heart Capt. Anthony B. Mitchell. Netherlands American Cemetery, Margraten, Netherlands. Plot O, Row 8, Grave 6 Entered the service from Ohio. Awards: Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, Purple Heart 1st Lt. Harry B. Parker. Netherlands American Cemetery, Margraten, Netherlands. Plot L, Row 2, Grave 22 Entered the service from Oregon. Awards: Air Medal with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters, Purple Heart, French – Croix De Guerre with Silver Star 1st Lt. John R. Granat. Netherlands American Cemetery, Margraten, Netherlands. Plot I, Row 11, Grave 2 Entered the service from Oregon. Awards: Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medals with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters, Purple Heart 1st Lt. William H. Byrne. Netherlands American Cemetery, Margraten, Netherlands. Plot H, Row 14, Grave 22 Entered the service from New York. Awards: Air Medal with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters T/Sgt. Cecil E. Hutson. Netherlands American Cemetery, Margraten, Netherlands. Plot O, Row 15, Grave 8 Entered the service from Texas. Awards: Air Medal with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters, Purple Heart T/Sgt. Barto J. Montalbano was returned to the USA at the request of his family and is buried in Long Island National Cemetery, Farmingdale, Long Island, New York S/Sgt. James L. Evers was returned to the USA at the request of his family and is buried in a cemetery in Alabama P.F.C. George E. Parrish was returned to the USA at the request of his family and is buried in a cemetery in North Carolina

Research by David King A. R. Society for the relatives of the crew. Acknowledgments: American Battle Monuments Commission, Roger A Freeman.
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