Monday, February 14, 2011

Died In Action Over France

Located at Forest Park Cemetery in Ft. Smith, AR.
This is a cenotaph.
In Memory of
Lt. Eugene F. Hennig
March 19, 1920 - June 6, 1944
Died In Action Over France

Though we may never lay affection's token
on his last resting place far o'er the sea.
Lord, let him sleep in peace, his rest unbroken
till we shall join him forever with thee.

The following is from Arkansas Ties.
In the early hours of the morning of the 6th June 1944, C-47 aircraft 42-101025, serial number 54 of the 301st Troop Carrier Squadron, 441st Troop Carrier Group left Merryfield airfield in Somerset, England and was making its way in tight formation with other troop carriers across the English Channel to Normandy, France. On board were a crew of four and a passenger load of 18 paratroopers of the 2nd Battalion 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment plus equipment (wire, ammunition, and rafts) heading for drop zone D in Normandy France.


All units were to fly across the English Channel and drop into Normandy, five hours prior to the famous seaborne landing. The 501st drop zones were north and east of the town of Carentan. Two battalions were to seize key canal locks at La Barquette and destroy the bridges over the Douve River.

As the aircraft reached the coast of France, heavy cloud and fog scattered their formations while intensive flak barrages added to the confusion. On this night, many would not return home, among these, the brave crew of this C-47 and their eighteen passengers. Shot down out of the sky, their plane crashed in Bois de Limors with all personnel on board. There were no survivors.

Rest in Peace -

2nd Lieutenant Eugene F. Hennig (Pilot) from Fort Smith, Arkansas, died on June 6, 1944.

2nd Lieutenant Albert A. Dorrance, Jr. (Co-Pilot) of California died on June 6, 1944 and lies buried at Colleville sur Mer, Normandy in Plot F, Row 15, Grave 6.

Technical Sergeant Dave Kramer (Crew Chief) from Wisconsin died on June 6, 1944 and lies buried at Colleville sur Mer, Normandy in Plot D, Row 19, Grave 14.

Corporal James E. Davison (Radio Operator) from Montana died on June 6, 1944 and lies buried at Colleville sur Mer, Normandy in Plot C, Row 8, Grave14.

And 18 paratroopers of the 2nd Battalion 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment, died on June 6, 1944.
This photograph was taken on June 5th, 1944, the day before 2nd Lt. Eugene Hennig's plane was shot down over France. Lt. Hennig (pilot of the plane) is the first officer on the left. The other crew members pictured are (left to right): 2nd Lt. Albert A. Dorrance, Jr. (co-pilot) - T/Sgt. Dave Kramer (crew chief) - Cpl. James E. Davison (radio operator). All four perished in the crash along with the 18 paratroopers they carried.

Info about the 441st Troop Carrier Group can be viewed at the following links.
Wikipedia

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