Just a few minutes out of Westover Field in Chicopee, Massachusetts, a B-24 Liberator on a training mission slammed into the tree tops and rock cliff face of nearby Mt. Holyoke. It was May, 1944. The crew of ten on Army Air Corps flight training were killed instantly in the explosion.
In 1989 this granite monument was dedicated to their memory. Unlike many World War II memorials in the US, this monument does not merely commemorate these fallen men, it marks their place of death.
Most of the flight crew were not New Englanders. The radio operator was from Massachusetts. The wives of a couple of the crew members took apartments in South Hadley, and could have heard the crash that night, and the wail of sirens that followed. South Hadley fire fighters, as well as the fire departments of surrounding towns arrived to help put out the fireball on top of the mountain, and many civilians tried to claw their way up the mountain to reach the men, but it was too late for any rescue attempt. World War II was over for those men, and nothing would be the same for their families. It was a terrible accident that brought the war home to an otherwise quiet part of the world.
Been there? Tell us, or share your experiences at other New England war memorials.