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6 Mar 1944 Lillie Bell Daylight bombing over Berlin Germany
Posted by: Kate Nesbitt (ID *****6494) Date: July 08, 2011 at 15:12:07
  of 22578

453rd Bombardment Group (Heavy), 735th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy)of the 8th Air Force were based in England. The B-24 Lillie Bell; Serial # 42-52191 completed its mission but was damaged badly by gunfire and ran out of fuel. It ditched in the North Sea on its return to England.

The plane's bombardier, Gerald Joseph "Joe" Cyr of Old Town ME, survived the ditching and continued to fly missions. A second crew member survived the ditching but died shortly after. All other crew members died when the plane ditched.


Pilot- 2nd Lt Herman J Meek - Los Angeles CA

Co Pilot- 2nd Lt Robert S McCook - Fountain City TN

Navigator-2nd Lt Joseph G Halliburton - Knoxville, TN

Bombardier- 2nd Lt Joseph G Cyr - Old Town, ME

Radio Operator - T/Sgt Martin L Kiner - Newport, PA

Tail gunner- S/Sgt Donald E Wright - Hudson, MA

Ball Trt - S/Sgt WIlliam J Gricas - Charleroi, PA

Rt W - T/Sgt Thomas Keathley - Lesterville, MO

Lft W - S/Sgt Frank W Le Fever - Glendora, CA

Many of this crew are memorialized at the Cambridge American Cemetery and Memorial in Cambridge England.

I realize that some of the crew were young men who did not have wives and children; some were brothers and uncles. Three of the crew listed wives as the contact person.

I hope this information will be helpful to a relative or descendant of these fine men.

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