D-Day and the Battle of Normandy

(1924 – 1944)

On October 27th 2016, I was with the Dechow family,
we did a detour from the normal D-Day sites
to include a visit to the small village of Perigny in Normandy
where a monument dedicated to the crew
of the downed B-17 bomber August 8th 1944.
Their uncle (& great uncle) Harry
was just 20 years old when he lost his life.

Niece of Harry Dean parkWith the Dechow family


Mother and son at monument

The crew went MIA (Missing in Action) on the mission to Saint-Sylvain (Calvados) 8 August 1944.
Their bomber was one of many to partake in Operation Totalize.

Pilot : John P. Keys
Co-pilot : Elvin W. Samuelson
Navigator : Patrick H. Lollis
Bombardier : Elton Dickens
Flight engineer/
top turret gunner : Harry D. Park
Radio Operator : Frank O. Thomas
Ball turret gunner : Peter P. Martin
Tail gunner : Donald V. Rieger (8 Killed in Action)
Waist gunner : Gilbert A. Borba (Prisoner of War).

 1½ minute before bombs away, at an altitude of about 11,000 feet,
a Flak burst put out engine 2, and another one cut off the tail assembly.
The plane nosed down out of formation and exploded near the ground.
Pieces of it were strewn over many places near Périgny, NE of Vire, France.

Flight plan of B-17 bomber hdp-copier


Comments are closed.