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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 100135
Last updated: 22 November 2019
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Date:22-JAN-1943
Time:16:50
Type:Silhouette image of generic B24 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Consolidated B-24D Liberator
Owner/operator:2nd Antisubmarine Sqn USAAF
Registration: 41-24019
C/n / msn:
Fatalities:Fatalities: 10 / Occupants: 10
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:two miles east of Hartland Point, Devon, England -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Nature:Military
Departure airport:RAF Chivenor
Destination airport:
Narrative:
On 22 January 1943, the B-24D 41-24019 "S" of 2nd Antisubmarine Sqn, USAAF, was returning to its base of Chivenor, Devon, England when bad weather settled in over southwest England. Approaching the coast of England, the plane requested that it be assisted by the 19 Group controller, who was asked to give it homing directions according to established procedures, to enable the plane to find its airfield. Unfortunately, this request was made on the wrong radio frequency, and the group controller declined to respond. Although the controller at St. Eval then attempted to do so, he was too late, as the plane, flying through the pea soup, slammed at 1650 hrs into the shoreline cliffs about two miles east of Hartland Point, 40 miles up the coast from Newquay, killing the entire crew. The plane hit the cliffside about 50 feet below its crest.

Crew (all killed):
2nd Lt George Oscar Broussard, Jr (pilot)
2nd Lt Leonard L Deshant (co-pilot)
2nd Lt Robert Lucian Shedden (navigator)
2nd Lt Elliot Ernest Stone (bombardier)
T/Sgt Grant L Craig (flight engineer/top turret gunner)
T/Sgt Bernard F Hickman (air gunner)
T/Sgt Harold Kaplan (radio operator)
T/Sgt Frank Kozjak, Jr (assistant radio operator)
T/Sgt George Malham Shaheen (engineer)
S/Sgt Louis A Nagy (ASV radar operator)

In the judgment of the American Unit, this loss was quite unnecessary, and could have been avoided either by the pilot who had adequate fuel, remaining off the coast until he was able to get ground assistance, or "if he was going on instruments, to proceed to do so at a safe altitude," or by "the exercise of better judgment by the officer in charge of the 19 Group radio station." With some feeling, the loss report observed: "he aircraft was obviously in difficulty, consequently it is believed that the 19 Group Station should not have quibbled about a technicality." The report also noted that "strong verbal representation has been made to the AOC, 19 Group (that it was essential) that in an emergency, all possible assistance will not be withheld because of a technicality." The radio operator had requested homing assistance from the 19 Group Controller seven times in the space of 38 minutes, four times prefaced immediate or priority.

Broussard had completed four local training flights from St. Eval, and one operational patrol before the fatal one. He had 460 hours total pilot time, 250 of which were in the B-24D.

It appears that the families were led to believe that their next of kin had died in operations over Germany, as this statement appeared in local papers announcing the deaths of the air men.

In 1948 seven of the aircrew were returned to the USA and the remaining three reburied in the Cambridge American Cemetery. Of the former, George O. Broussard, Jr., and Harold Kaplan are buried together in Section 15 of Arlington National Cemetery.

Sources:

http://www.arlingtoncemetery.net/aircrew-01221943.htm
http://www.northdevongazette.co.uk/news/hartland-plane-crash-75th-anniversary-appeal-1-5368978
http://www.americanairmuseum.com/unit/759
http://www.usaafdata.com/search
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hartland_Point
https://www.google.com/maps/search/51.021944,-4.525278/@51.021944,-4.525278,1112m/data=!4m2!2m1!4b1?dg=dbrw&newdg=1


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
25-Jan-2018 16:59 Captain Adam Updated [Total fatalities, Total occupants, Other fatalities, Phase, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
05-Mar-2018 16:38 Laurent Rizzotti Updated [Time, Operator, Location, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
07-Mar-2019 12:54 stehlik49 Updated [Operator]

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