Consolidated B-24J 42-99991 / ‘Bachelors Baby’ of the 8th Air Force, USAAF, crashed on Moelfre above Penmaenmawr on the 7th January 1944
|Adrian J. Schultz||2nd Lieutenant||Pilot||Survived|
|Arthur W. Davis||2nd Lieutenant||Co-pilot||Died of Injuries|
|Julian S. Erts||2nd Lieutenant||Navigator||Survived|
|Norman P. Boyer||2nd Lieutenant||Bomb Aimer||Survived|
|Samuel Louis Offutt||Staff Sergeant||Engineer||Killed|
|John E. Tymczak||Staff Sergeant||Radio Operator||Survived|
|William M. Lorenz||Sergeant||Gunner||Died of Injuries|
|William G. Nichols||Sergeant||Gunner||Killed|
|Nicholas Cennemo||Technical Sergeant||Passenger||Killed|
The aircraft was being delivered from the United States to the UK, its crew had flown across the Atlantic via the Southern route, a route frequently used in the winter months. They had arrived at RAF Valley and were to fly the final leg of the flight to Watton in Norfolk. Poor weather delayed their departure for 24 hours, and during the afternoon of the 7th January they crew took off from RAF Valley, along with a second aircraft, a Boeing B-17G which was being flown by a ferry pilot on the same route, which was Valley – Rhyl – Chester – Kettering – Watton.
After take off the two aircraft initially flew below the low cloud which covered the area but shortly after both entered the overcast and the crew of ‘Bachelors Baby’ lost sight of the B-17, though they remained in radio contact. The pilot of the B-17 soon reported that he had cleared the top of the cloud and instructed the crew of the B-24 to remain on course. However they had not been following any specific course and so opted to begin a spiralling ascent to break clear of the cloud. It was while in a gentle climbing turn that the aircraft struck the summit of Clip yr Orsedd above the coastal town of Penmaenmawr. The initial impact tore away the bomb bay doors, causing the cargo of baggage being carried to spill out across the rough pasture land. The aircraft remained airborne for a few hundred yards before crashing on gently sloping ground beside Moelfre. The aircraft was badly damaged by the crash and was soon engulfed by fire which destroyed most of the fuselage and the inner wings.
The crash was quickly reported to the Police and the local ambulance service took to the injured crew members to the Caernarvon & Anglesey Hospital at Bangor. It was only after than that the crash was reported to the RAF Mountain Rescue unit at RAF Llandwrog, who attended the scene of the crash. When they arrived there were still three crew members unaccounted for, though the MRT soon found their bodies in the burning wreckage.