42-23604 - Luftkriegsarchiv Köln

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42-23604

Crashes > of the USAAF
Those marked in green are members of the 258th QM Rhd. Comp.




The C-47, 42-2360 " Sad Sack" takes off near Paris on a supply flight to the advancing American forces to the now restored airfield at Eschwege/ Germany. On board are four crew members and 5,000 pounds of gasoline. The aircraft reaches Eschwege without any problems, as the entire flight passes over territory now occupied by the Americans.
In Eschwege, the cargo is unloaded and the plane is to return to France as soon as possible, where it is loaded again and scheduled to take off on the next supply flight.

But then something happens that was not supposed to happen. Someone in the crew knows one or more guys who are on duty at the airfield in Eschwege. They are young soldiers from the 258th Quater Master Company ( 258th QM Rhd Co.).... and these five young men are invited to fly to Paris. They agree, after all, they'll be back the same day. And in all the confusion on the airfield, their absence will not be noticed.

So the c-47, now with nine people on board, takes off for Paris.......but they haven't planned the return flight carefully enough and are flying very low towards Cologne. In any case, the aircraft comes too close to the now narrowing Ruhrkessel, in which the remnants of the German Wehrmacht are trapped. The right side of the Rhine, from Siegburg onwards, is still in German hands.  And it is precisely here that the aircraft is spotted and fired upon by German flak. A direct hit blows off the left wing and the plane crashes in flames near a gravel pit in Cologne Porz-Wahn. On impact it explodes and burns out completely, no one survived this crash.  
The completely burnt bodies are recovered one day later and buried in a communal grave in Porz-Wahnheide. Months after the end of the war, the bodies are exhumed, but immediate identification of the individuals is not possible. It is not until 1949 that the last of the crew is properly identified. Some of the crew are buried in the American military cemetery in Margraten in Belgium, others are transferred to the USA.  
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