A C-47 Crashed in Germany in 1945—Now Locals Have Erected a Memorial


On November 1, 1945, the crew of a Douglas C-47A on a flight from RAF Bovington in England to Schleissheim Airfield north of Munich apparently misplaced its bearings in dangerous climate. Thirty folks have been aboard—4 crewmembers and 26 troopers returning to their base on the airfield. At round 5:00 that morning the airplane ought to have been close to Augsburg alongside the Lech River. The truth is, it was close to Karlsruhe and the Rhine. After following the river south for about 30 miles, the pilot, Lieutenant Bahne H. Andressen of Iowa, made a left flip and climbed again into the clouds. Inside minutes the airplane plowed into the highest of Mount Bernstein in Bavaria’s Black Forest, slicing a swathe via the timber that is still seen right now. All 4 crewmembers died; 4 passengers managed to exit the burning wreck.

The memorial commemorates a crash from November 1, 1945 (Peter Bittmann picture).

Native historian Peter Bittmann grew up listening to tales concerning the incident and determined to create a memorial for the crash website. He had hoped to unveil the marker on the accident’s seventy fifth anniversary however COVID-19 pressured a delay till October 27, 2021. The small group assembled for the ceremony included two residents from native villages, aged 90 and 92, who remembered the crash and had shared their recollections of it with Bittmann.

Mockingly, the C-47 was a fight survivor, accepted by the U.S. Military Air Forces in April 1944 and assigned to the a centesimal Troop Service Squadron, 441st Troop Service Group of the Ninth Air Power. On D-Day it transported paratroopers of the 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment to a drop zone close to Sainte-Mère-Église in France, and the subsequent day towed a glider with males from the 82nd Airborne Division for one more drop. Transferred to the thirtieth Air Depot Group at Illesheim in Germany after the battle, it was loaned to the 344th Bombardment Group at Schleissheim simply earlier than its deadly mission.

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