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  • Supermarine LF Mk.Vb Spitfire EP120 - G-LFVB - (The Fighter Collection)

  • Le Cardonnois (Somme) - Stèle à la mémoire de l'équipage du Boeing B-17 #42-31325, 452nd Bomb Group

  • B-17G-85-VE 44-8846 - F-AZDX - (FTV)

 

8th MAY 2015

 

Boubiers (Oise)

 

Ceremony in memory of the crew of the B-17 # 43-37747

452nd Bomb Group, 729th Bomb Squadron

8th Air Force

 

                                                                                                               Copyright © 2015 - Association des Sauveteurs d'Aviateurs Alliés - All rights reserved -
                                                                                                               En français france

 

On this 8th May 2015 marking the 70th anniversary of the end of the war in Europe, the village of Boubiers (Oise) paid tribute to the crew of the bomber B-17 # 43-37747 shot down on the territory of the commune on 8th July 1944. This was a terrible tragedy. Nine of the occupants of the aircraft made the ultimate sacrifice for their country in order to deliver us from Nazi tyranny. This sacrifice and the memory of these young American airmen should not be forgotten.

This exceptional day saw the presence of 24 family members who came especially from the United States. Welcomed by the municipality, it was with great emotion that they came, for the first time, to this small village in the Vexin region.

Church

The ceremony began with a blessing at the church, led by Father Bataille and Pastor Powell who came for the occasion from Paris.

Those present were then invited to the cemetery surrounding the church at the very place where the bodies of the nine airmen were buried after the crash of their aircraft. These were moments of great recollection for all of us and particularly for the American families who learned with emotion that the graves had been carefully maintained at the time and tended with great respect by the villagers.

cimetiere  cimetiere2

Everyone then gathered at the village hall for a few souvenir pictures.

DSCN8601

The families of the airmen surrounding Mr Sauvaget, Mayor of Boubiers, and his council.   

Schulzefamily

Members of the family of the gunner Arthur Schulze.

 

Then came the time to go to the end of the village, called La Croisette, for the official inauguration ceremony of the memorial recalling the sacrifice of the crew.

dfil

To their great joy, the American families took their places on board the Jeeps of the Victory Vehicles Group who were taking part in this event.

Jeep  Stele

The weather was mild with a slightly cloudy sky but without the fine rain which had been forecast. A large tent stood facing the memorial which bordered the field where the aircraft had crashed. The audience gradually formed larger.

Chapiteau

Then the official speeches began, simultaneously translated into English. 

Mr. Claude Sauvaget, Mayor of Boubiers, first gave words of welcome before expressing the pride of his village in welcoming the many families of Lieutenants Hanson, Marcus and Lyma and Sgt. Schulze who had made the long journey to attend this moving tribute to their loved ones. He also thanked all those who had worked hard for months to organize this ceremony. He reminded us that we were all together, on this symbolic day, to perpetuate the memory of the ten young airmen who came to fight and fall on the territory of this village for us to regain freedom and to live in democracy. Mr. Sauvaget also evoked his own memories when, as an eight year old boy, he experienced the terrifying sounds of bombings. He knew that all these sacrifices and destruction were the price to pay for our Liberation.

Maire

 

Mr. Sauvaget then invited 2nd Lt. Leonard S. Marcus’s great grandson and a young villager to unveil the memorial.  

devoilement  DSCN8614

After the reading of the ten names engraved on the memorial, the ceremony continued.

Elisabeth Guerin-Wuillot, municipal counsellor, then took the floor. Project instigator and at the head of the organizing committee, she managed over the months to gradually mobilize, by her tenacity and her determination, the inhabitants of her village so that this beautiful memorial day could take place. Thanks to our Canadian friend Janice Kidwell, Elisabeth traced the families of the airmen in the United States and established strong bonds of friendships that materialised during the organising of this tribute.

Elisabeth

On the left :  Elisabeth, helped by Emmanuelle, her friend and interpreter.

Dominique Lecomte, President of the ASAA-OISE (Association of Rescuers of Allied Airmen-Oise), evoked the story of the mission of 8th July 1944 and the tragic fate of the bomber crew.

Domi

The emotion was accentuated when the representatives of the families of the airmen one by one took the floor. All expressed their deep gratitude to the elected officials and the population of the village of Boubiers who honoured their loved ones. Families evoked the short life of each of them, their values, their commitment to the cause of Liberty but also sharing the dramatic feelings of sadness experienced by their families at the announcement of their deaths. Some were married and were fathers of very young children. Tears rolled down on many faces in the audience.

ML

Michael Litwin, nephew of S/Sgt. Arthur Schulze.

   He evoked the memory of his uncle who remained scarred for life by what he had experienced.
His whole life was then devoted to the welfare of his family.
 
EAM

Elaine  Marcus-Altman, daughter of the navigator Leonard S. Marcus.
She was still a baby when her father was killed in action. Intense emotion for her and her family to be in Boubiers.
Our researches have taught her to discover more about her father whom she missed so much. Much emotion as she spoke !

JM
Joan  Lyma-Malvino, sister of the bombardier Donald J. Lyma.
"I was 10 years old when my family received word that my brother was missing in action.
Eight long months later I remember standing at the front door with my mother
when a telegram arrived with the news that he had been killed in action.
My parents never really got over the grief of losing their only son”.
 
SS

Sandra Silvestri, niece of the pilot Everett G. Hanson Jr.

"Fascinated from an early age by Aviation, my uncle was the youngest bomber pilot in the US Army Air Force

and he was killed on his 20th birthday..."

The speeches of the families of the airmen were followed by that of Sophie Lévesque, 1st Deputy and Vice-chairwoman of the Oise Departmental Council and that of Mrs Wright, representative of the Embassy of the United States.

          SL  MmeWright                                 

                                               Mrs Sophie Levesque                                                        Mrs Wright

Wreaths were laid successively at the foot of the memorial before the Taps followed by a respectful minute of silence and the national anthems of the United States and of France sung by the choir and the children of the village.

Sonnerie  Hymnes

During the ceremony, Mr. Ed Kennedy, from Golden Hills, California, officially handed to the municipality of Boubiers a plaque of appreciation to thank it for having honoured the memory of the crew on this 8th May.

plaque

Before Mr. Sauvaget invited the audience to the traditional reception, the children of the village laid ten candles at the foot of the memorial.

Bougies  Elainestele

                                                               Elaine Marcus-Altman

In the village hall, an exhibition made by students of the Professional High School of Chars, by the Association of Rescuers of Allied Airmen and by the municipality, allowed everyone to see the faces of the airmen. Various panels explained the mission and the fate of each member of the crew. Also included were equipments and objects of that period.

Expo1  Expo2

The lunch, enlivened by the Heteroclit Jazz Band from Vigny performing famous songs of Glenn Miller and Benny Goodman, plunged us into the musical atmosphere of 1944.

Concert

During the lunch, various gifts were handed over with emotion by the municipality to the American families including small panels containing debris found at the crash site.

Cadeaux1  Cadeaux2

This beautiful day of tribute could not end without a visit to the very place of the crash. We accompanied the families of the airmen to the exact spot where the four-engined plane crashed. More than 70 years after, small pieces of aluminum and of Plexiglas were found and emotionally handed over to the families.

Lieucrash

A moment of intense emotion for the families of lieutenants Hanson and Marcus at the crash site.

Our Association thanks Mr Sauvaget, Mayor of Boubiers, Elizabeth Guerin-Wuillot, Emmanuelle, the entire municipal team and all the volunteers. This beautiful day of tribute could not have been accomplished without them.

This ceremony will remain in our memories. Now, the ten names engraved on the memorial will remind future generations of these young airmen who fought at the price of the greatest sacrifice.

Memorial

 

 

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