MIDAIR CRASH 12TH JULY 1944

Impact of two American B-17 Bombers

We are the 12th July 1944 around 11h50. The 385th Bomb Group, of the US Air Force, was its way from Ashfield (GB) to its 150th mission in Munich, Germany. It was a convoy of American B-17 Flying Fortress.
As they flew over the village of Perlé, Luxembourg, for till today unknown reasons, two of them collided.
From the group reports, it seems one of the aircraft (42-31917, Cpt. White) was caught in the prop wash of the preceding one, nosed up and hit another one (42-102606, 1st Lt. McDonald).
Only two members of the two crews survived the impact by parachuting to safety. The rest of the crews, 18 members, died in the accident.
We estimate that most of the airmen were ejected from their plane at the moment of impact, because the bodies were found scattered in the area between Perlé and Wolwelange.
They were transported to the old school in Perlé in order to identify the bodies.
Seeing that it was impossible to celebrate a requiem for the soldiers who died during the Nazi occupation, a ceremony took place in the church of Perlé on the 17th October 1944 at 18:30h after the liberation by the Americans. Eighteen candles and eighteen helmets, one for each airmen, were placed in the church to honour them.

Pictures of the crash sites in Wolwelange and Perlé

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Sgt Larry Athiyeh

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