Re: [mcoffee] Aug 15th 1944 Grataglia take off disaster
A description of activity in the area in the wee hours of August 15, 1944:
"At 0100 the bombers began to roll down the runway with a maximum bomb and gas load. Search light batteries on the field and in adjoining sister fields of the 47th wing were stabbing the sky as the various elements began to form. As the mission proceeded, intermittent explosions were heard in the vicinity. Later messages revealed that one plane of the 449th exploded on take-off and two of the 376th hit tension wires. All the 450th planes got off without mishap and reached their destination. Although nothing had been officially said regarding the invasion, all personnel seemed to be appraised of whatever "was cooking," and remained on hand to watch the mid-night take-off."
From 450th Bomb Group Historical Narrative, August 1 to September 1, 1944: [url "http://www.450thbg.com/real/history/1944/august.shtml"]http://www.450thbg.com/real/history/1944/august.shtml[/url]