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The Final Flight Of C-47-a # 42-23638

Engine Type: 1830-92, Serial #s CP-351797 and CP-351714
This summary page is compiled from information in the report pages.
Some info was pretty illegible and there were some inconsistencies,
but I made the best guess and also found other sites noted below.
Suggested revisions are always welcome. For instance,
Page 10 has the C-47 serial number digits transposed.
And I wish they'd had GPS back then...

THE SQUADRON

belonging to the 14th Troop Carrier Squadron, 61st Troop Carrier Group,
52nd Troop Carrier Wing of the 9th Troop Carrier Command

Aircrafts' position in squadron, serial number, and pilot's name were
gathered from THIS PAGE at www.6Juin1944.com.
It's also available at THIS PAGE at DDay-Overlord.com (in French).

#1 43-30647 Mitchell #13 42-92875 Perkinson #25 42-23335 Fransconi
#2 42-92897 Cargill #14 43-15210 Breeden #26 42-92907 Martin
#3 42-32933 Gordon #15 42-23336 Wicker #27 42-24381 Drake
#4 42-24208 McGuinness #16 42-23332 Steed #28 42-24204 Harruff
#5 42-5694 Butler #17 42-23933 Doucet #29 42-23501 Pitzer
#6 42-92776 Beveridge #18 42-24322 Bain #30 42-32917 Helwig
#7 42-24332 Paccassi #19 43-15172 Frederick #31 42-23638 Hitztaler, Edwards
#8 42-32934 Phillippi #20 42-32914 Linnemeier #32 43-15310 Thompson
#9 42-23300 Shantz #21 42-32833 Lyon #33 43-15609 Middlebrooks
#10 43-15183 McMurtry #22 42-24267 Hagey #34 42-32913 Ream
#11 42-23637 Montgomery #23 42-32834 Pottenger #35 43-15170 Metcalf
#12 42-5693 Piper #24 43-30732 Moh #36 42-92835 Miller

THE CREW

Function Name Serial # Next Of Kin
Pilot
 
Copilot
 
Navigator
 
Radio Operator
 
Engineer
 
1st Lt William R. Hitztaler
 
2nd Lt Stanley E. Edwards, Jr.
 
2nd Lt John H. Hendry
 
S/Sgt Orlo A. Montgomery
 
T/Sgt Alvin F. Vezina
 
0-524956 
 
0-701914 
 
0-698627 
 
39-678075 
 
17-089122 
Mrs. Laverda B. Hitztaler (wife)
1525 S. Elizabeth St, Denver, CO
Mr. Stanley E. Edwards, Sr. (father)
425 N. Willow Ave, Phoenix, AZ
Mr. John P. Hendry (father)
150-29 115 Ave, Jamaica, NY
Mrs. Bernadine Montgomery (wife)
2326 S Galapago St, Denver, CO
Mrs. Amanda C. Vezina (mother)
Leadore, ID

Ultimately, Hitztaler ("Bill") & Hendry ("Henry") returned to duty, Edwards & Vezina were evacuated to the US, Montgomery ("Ring") was MIA and was declared dead.

THE PARATROOPERS - Company F - 507th PIR - 82nd Airborne

Report Page 5 listed their initials, last name, serial number, and ultimate fate. I got their first names (and corrected illegible spellings) from info on THIS PAGE at DDay-Overlord.com.
(It's in French).

KIA- Killed In Action,   EUS - Evacuated to the US,   RTD - Returned To Duty
1st Lt Walter C. Heisler, 01-295712, EUS
T/Sgt William P. Emmett, 20-904872, KIA
Cpl Joseph E. Romas, 12-073642, EUS
Pfc Robert R. Taylor, 37-506031, EUS
Pvt Charles George Stout, 15-114250, KIA
Pfc George A. Hitchcock, 6-907291, KIA
Pfc Blair W. Terryberry, 12-080559, EUS
Sgt Carl R. Letson, 12-080559, EUS
Pfc Robert T. Hurley, 12-073323, KIA
Pfc John E. Hollman, 38-450695, EUS
Pfc John C. Wagner, 35-557626, EUS
Pvt Donn W. Cummings, 17-150861, KIA
Pfc Glenn Ball, 35-629657, KIA
Pvt John L. Ponder, 39-233735, KIA
Pvt Ricardo R. Alvarez, 38-441081, EUS
Pvt Olivier Lindberg, ??-185914, EUS
Pvt Bernard D. Ely, 25-623444, RTD
Sgt Harry E. LaChance Jr., 11-998049, KIA
Pvt Weldon F. Truett, 34-121996, EUS

THE MISSION

This is an overall map of Stan's mission. His flight path (red line) was determined starting with the map in his book (page 13) and this map. The path ends where they were last sighted around 0220 (report pages 5-8), because things got a little dicey from there.

Click on Grantham AFB below to see it today. Or Click Here for a current street view.

Mission Map

Cherbourg Peninsula

Cherbourg Peninsula
  1. Last sighting of Stan's plane entering clouds at 1°49'W 49°28'N, about 0220 6 June 1944, reported by 1st Lt. Berlin Middlebrooks who was flying on their left wing. (Pages 5-8)
  2. Reports by Hitztaler (Page 3) and Hendry (Page 4), both dated 21 June, give the "approximate location of plane crash" as "NW of Valognes" at 0315 hours. Casualty Questionnaire (AFPPA-12) by Vezina (Page 12) says it struck the ground "near the little town St. Joseph". Casualty Questionnaire (AFPPA-12) by Hendry (Page 14) says "Edwards and Vezina bailed out together at about 0245 or 0250 near Valognes, Normandy. I bailed out next and then Hitztaler went out the escape hatch on top of the plane. Montgomery was lying in the aisle of the aircraft just behind the pilot's and co-pilot's seats wounded and probably unconscious."
  3. The map on Page 10 shows "A/C 42-32638"[sic] was "ABANDONED IN THIS AREA". The coordinates along the bottom indicate 2° West - they should be 1° West.
  4. THIS PAGE at DDay-Overlord.com, when translated, reveals the following: "US Unit Design registration C-47 42-23638 piloted by 1st Lt. William R. Hitztaler and belonging to the 14th Troop Carrier Squadron, 61st Troop Carrier Group, 52nd Troop Carrier Wing of the 9th Troop Carrier Command, shot by anti Defence German aérienne 6 June 1944 over Négreville in Normandy while transporting paratroopers of Company F of the 507th Parachute Infantry Division, 82nd Airborne Division. Hitztaler has time to give the order to jump 19 paratroopers planned to be released above the drop zone coded "T" to more than 12 kilometers south-east. But the paratroopers Donn W. Commings and Charles George Stout were injured by the explosions and the radio, the S / Sgt Orlo A. Montgomery, was fatally wounded. And other crew members have just enough time to jump before the crash: Douglas C-47 crashed at a place called Clos Neuf, Hamlet Rouville, northwest of Negreville. The remains of two bodies were found in the wreckage of the aircraft: the remains of Charles George Stout is identified but Orlo A. Montgomery is missing".
Memorial At Crash Site

A Google Map search for various combinations of Clos Neuf, Hameau Rouville, etc was unrevealing, but here's a Google Map link to Négreville.

Nice to know for sure the final resting place of
C-47-a #42-23638.

I'm sure Stan already got the details on April 4, 2004 when he was reunited with "Ring" Montgomery and the others.

This memorial plaque was placed at the crash site by grateful French citizens on June 7, 1999.

 

 

REGARDING THE CONDITION OF THE AIRCRAFT

HITZTALER (Page 3): Shot up a lot; it was on fire; left engine and trail edge of left wing near fuselage was burning.

HENDRY (Page 4): Left engine burning; right engine unknown; many flak holes in plane. Tail section shot up.

Supplemental Missing Air Crew Report (Page 9) by Maj. Lewis S. Frederick, Jr., Air Corps, Commanding (dated 29 July): All control cables were shot out of aircraft.


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