AR banner
search tips advanced search

Info LogoAdd to or correct this story with a few clicks.
Archive Report: Allied Forces

Compiled from official National Archive and Service sources, contemporary press reports, personal logbooks, diaries and correspondence, reference books, other sources, and interviews.


We seek additional information and photographs. Please contact us via the AddInfo button, or send us email from the Helpdesk.
U.S.A.A.F. Crest
491BG 854BS B-24J 44-40210 Capt. Hunter loss of crew

Operation: Eindhoven, Holland

Date: 18th September 1944 (Monday)

Unit: 854th Bomb Squadron, 491st Bomb Group, 8th Air Force, Heavy

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

Serial: 44-40210

Code: 6X

Base: North Pickenham, Norfolk.

Location: Northeast of Udenhout, Holland

Pilot: Capt. James K. Hunter. 0-799024. USAAF Killed

Co-Pilot: Capt. Anthony B. Mitchell. 0-659391. USAAF Killed (1)

Navigator: 1st Lt. Harry B. Parker. 0-694701. USAAF Killed

Bombardier: 1st Lt. John R. Granat. 0-754955. USAAF Killed

Nose Turret Gunner: 1st Lt. William H. Byrne. 0-814244. USAAF Killed

Engineer/Top Turret Gunner: T/Sgt. Cecil E. Hutson. 18127645. USAAF Killed

Radio Operator: T/Sgt. Barto J. Montalbano. 32692213. USAAF Killed

Right Waist Gunner: S/Sgt. James L. Evers. 34588582. USAAF Killed

Left Waist Gunner: S/Sgt. Frank DiPalma. USAAF Evaded (2)

Drop Master: P.F.C. George E. Parrish. Drop Master. 34664935. USAAF 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 moment of impact as the B-24's starboard wing hits the ground. Moments later the aircraft became airborne again crashing into haystack and farm buildings in the right hand corner of left photo.

(1) 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

(2) 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.

(3) All the aircraft 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

Left: 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

Researched by Aircrew Remembered, researcher and specialist genealogist Kate Tame for relatives of this crew.

Acknowledgements: Sources used by us in compiling Archive Reports include: Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vols. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vols. 1 and 2', Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries', Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Tom Kracker - Kracker Luftwaffe Archives and Fred Paradie - Paradie Archive (both on this site), Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945', Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
Click any image to enlarge it

Click to add your info via ticket on Helpdesk •Click to let us know via ticket on Helpdesk• Click to buy research books from Amazon •Click to explore the entire site

At the going down of the sun, and in the morning we will remember them. - Laurence Binyon
All site material (except as noted elsewhere) is owned or managed by Aircrew Remembered and should not be used without prior permission.
© Aircrew Remembered 2012 - 2017
Last Modified: 02 May 2016, 21:15

Monitor Additions/Changes?Click to be informed of changes to this page. Create account for first monitor only, thereafter very fast. Click to close without creating monitor