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Post a message below about missions over France.

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Posted on Thursday, July 29, 2004 - 8:18 am:   

One of the flight crew was George Coates. He was my fathers cousin, I am not sure what that makes me, and I recall in the early 50"s my father stating Georges body had been identified by the Army. Being 5-8 years old, date unrecalled (born in 46), I was interested and remembered my fathers statement. In the French May 29 website they list George Coates with the word "Dorchester." That is the former street his family lived on in the 40's on Chicagos South side. There is no way they would live there now. I left Chicago in 64 and have little contact with the few remaining relatives. I do know the last name of Barry should be his mothers maiden name but Barry is very common in Chicago. In May, 2003, I visited the "Mighty 8th Air Force Museum" in Savannah, GA and was able to determine the pilots name (Hecox). From that, I was able to find the French website for the 60th memorial. I will be in France next year and will visit the grave site at St. James Cemetery. Jim Duffy

Roberta Roddy
Posted on Saturday, June 05, 2004 - 6:11 pm:   

My father was 1st Lt. Edward R. Ryan. He was with the 355th Fighter Squadron, 354th Fighter Group flying out of England. He was KIA flying over France on 5 April 1944. He had my name "Roberta" painted on the nose of his P 51.
I have pictures, his medals, his rosary and a few other items, but my mother remarried and we never talked about him. I just found AWON and am waiting for my membership to come through.
I'm very anxious to find out any information or find anyone who knew my father. He is buried at Epinal American Cemetery/ Epinal, France.

Rik Peirson
Posted on Monday, September 23, 2002 - 12:32 pm:   

Part I of II

A small community in France, Champs-Geraux, witnessed a B-17 gunned down by German fighters in 1943, with several eyewitnesses -- and the community is looking for information so they can build a memorial.

Details are below (see Part II) supplied by Ellen Jones Blackburn of AWON, but please reply to me if you know any information about the crew or the mission, and I'll get in touch with Ellen.

Rik Peirson
Posted on Monday, September 23, 2002 - 12:29 pm:   

Part II of II

"Saturday, May 29th, 1943 it is a beautiful spring day in Brittany. Rennes is the target for B-17 (M 229 476) pilot Lieutenant Max Hecox and his crew, the 410th squadron 94th group (9th Air Force). Their mission is to bombard the naval equipment depot.

The mission took place between 1600 and 1605 GMT. The squadron included 57 B-17 bombers escorted by 72 P-47 and 48 Spitfire fighters. At the end of the mission, six B-17 are missing, including Lieutenant Hecox's. Along with the pilot's name, we also have the names of the co-pilots: Rolland V. Vanderhook, Charles Harrison (navigator) and Roland McCoy (bombardier). All three were lieutenants.

In addition to the aforementioned, there were seven other victims. The only survivor was taken prisoner by the Germans."

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