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Old 9th December 2017, 00:32
Errol Martyn Errol Martyn is offline
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USAAF bomber loss northern Italy 28 Jul 1944

Would a forum member be able to please advise me if there was a USAAF bomber shot down in the vicinity of ‘San Cacciano’ (presume San Casciano, a comune in the province of Florence) on 28 Jul 44, and if so who the crew were?

Thanks in advance for any assistance offered.

Cheers,
Errol
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Old 9th December 2017, 01:38
Alex Smart Alex Smart is offline
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Re: USAAF bomber loss northern Italy 28 Jul 1944

Hello Errol,
Quick glance I could only find an A20 and a B24 that may fit the bill.
47BG(M) - A20 - 41-3374 - MACR 8257
And a
461BG - B24 .
and
485BG - B24.

Alex
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Old 9th December 2017, 02:11
RSwank RSwank is offline
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Re: USAAF bomber loss northern Italy 28 Jul 1944

Alex, I think the A-20 went down at 02:00 while doing at night recon of roads in the Milan area. The plane crashed at Bettola (just SW of Milan) killing the crew of 4. They were buried in the Community Cemetery at Bettola.

San Casciano was liberated on 27 or 28 July, so the town was right on the front lines. I don't think any heavy bombers would have been operating in the area. More likely fighter bombers or light/medium bombers. Errol, how sure are you of the date? Do you have any other information?
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Old 9th December 2017, 03:37
Alex Smart Alex Smart is offline
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Re: USAAF bomber loss northern Italy 28 Jul 1944

Hello,
Thank you for the details Rolland, I did pause before posting.
Reason, as you are probably aware being that "witnesses" often refer to Bombers when it has later been found to have been a P38, or other fighters carrying bombs .
Also it may not be a US a/c, could be from other allied force.
Alex
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Old 10th December 2017, 00:52
Errol Martyn Errol Martyn is offline
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Re: USAAF bomber loss northern Italy 28 Jul 1944

Many thanks Alex and Rswank.

According to his service record, on 27 Jul 44 a New Zealand Army officer in Italy got drunk and into a fight with a soldier. He then returned to his tent but next morning was missing from camp, having left behind all his identity documents in his tent.

A broadcast over German radio saying that he was a PoW was the first positive information as to his whereabouts.

On his repatriation form (dated 11 May 45) he gave his place of capture as ‘San Cacciano, Italy’ and place of interrogation as ‘Civil Prison, Pistoia – 28 July ‘44’. He had not been injured ro wounded and offered no information as to the circumstances leading to his capture.


Apparently he was held at Pistoia for the next fortnight, his next recorded location being Stalag VIIA at Moosburg from 14 Aug 44.

A history of his old school quotes from an obituary that ‘while reconnoitring a possible bivouac area for his unit south of Florence he was intercepted by a German patrol and made a prisoner of war.’ The author of the history, however, then goes on to give an unattributed different version of events: ‘. . . he visited a nearby American Air Force mess. It turned out to be a longer drink than he had intended. He accepted an invitation to go on a bombing mission over Germany, the plane on which he was a passenger was shot down over Berlin [sic] and he was taken prisoner.. . .’

There is no mention on his service record nor on his repatriation form about an American bomber. So it seems to be that this was just a tall tale conveyed to the author long afterwards. As it was the officer narrowly missed being court martialed. Following an interview with the officer by Maj Gen Kippenberger in London the matter was dropped on the latter’s recommendation.


Gents, your info helps eliminates any possiblity of the officer being shot down in USAAF bomber.


Cheers,
Errol

Last edited by Errol Martyn; 10th December 2017 at 00:54. Reason: spelling correction
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Old 10th December 2017, 01:31
RSwank RSwank is offline
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Re: USAAF bomber loss northern Italy 28 Jul 1944

Errol, interesting story. New Zealand troops liberated San Casciano. There are a series of photos here all dated during this time.

https://natlib.govt.nz/items?il%5Bco...t=San+Casciano

I would guess the officer may have either deliberately crossed the front lines or walked across the lines while drunk.

Last edited by RSwank; 10th December 2017 at 02:10.
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