Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress 42-37840 “Combined Operations” coded GY-Y of the 367th Bombardment Squadron, 306th Bombardment Group, crashed near the Chasms on the southern tip of the Isle of Man on the 14th April 1945
|Robert Arthur Vieille||1st Lieutenant||Pilot||Killed|
|Colin Edward Liersch||2nd Lieutenant||Co-pilot||Killed|
|Howard Edgar Le-Compte||Flight Officer||Navigator||Killed|
|Ernest E. Gallion||Technical Sergeant||Flight Engineer||Killed|
|Chester Frank Smailczewski||Staff Sergeant||Radio Operator||Killed|
|Wilby Bradley Butterfield||Captain||Passenger||Killed|
|George E. Cubberly||Captain||Passenger||Killed|
|Austin J. Parrish||2nd Lieutenant||Passenger||Killed|
|William C. Starbuck||Technical Sergeant||Passenger||Killed|
|Derrell S. Jones||Staff Sergeant||Passenger||Killed|
|Emilly Harper Rea||N/A (American Red Cross)||Passenger||Killed|
The crew of the aircraft were flying the aircraft from Thurleigh in Bedfordshire to Langford Lodge in Co. Antrim where they were dropping off their passengers. The route to Langford Lodge was intended to be a cross country navigation training exercise. The weather on the day dictated that the flight be carried out on instruments rather than visual navigation.
They took off from Thurleigh at 15:00 and headed for Northern Ireland, by 18:15, having failed to arrive at Langford Lodge, they were declared overdue by the USAAF. Within five minutes a report was sent back stating that an aircraft had crashed on the Isle of Man.
The aircraft had been flying on a North Westerly course towards the island, it was thought that the pilots had seen land ahead and that cloud was covering much of it and began turning to port onto a South Westerly course when the aircraft struck the ground just inland from the coast. The aircraft travelled through a stone wall before coming to rest where the wreckage was then destroyed by fire.
Of those killed a number were buried at Cambridge American Cemetery, below are photographs of their graves.