Aircraft B-24H with serial number 42-52280 departed from San Giovanni Air Field on a operational mission to Munchendorf in Austria. The aircraft suffered a flak hit in the number one engine. They remained in formation for a while and the airplane, with the crippled engine throwing oil, did not bomb with the group. The ship made its way back to the Adriatic Sea where the bomb load was dropped to insure a safe landing when they would reach their base. One of the bombs exploded prematurely a few feet below the plane, so severely damaging the ship that it was forced to make a crash landing into the sea. The force of the impact of the crash caused the plane to break in two.

Crew members
Pilot, 1st Lt John R. Brashear
Co-Pilot, 2nd Lt Gordon C. Muth
Navigator, 2nd Lt Robert A. Regnier
Bombardier, 2nd Lt George P. Elkerton
Radio Operator-Gunner, T/Sgt Edward Korzeniewski
Mech-Gunner, T/Sgt Dale Fortson
Mech-Gunner, S/Sgt Weston K. Keen
Mech-Gunner, S/Sgt Elton L. Smith
Mech-Gunner, S/Sgt Victor E. Kirby
Armorer-Gunner, S/Sgt Burgess B. Lindsay

Staff Sergeant Kirby is memorialized at the Florence American Cemetery, Via Cassia, Italy.

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