Miller-Stockum Post 485

Jack T. Hanlon, 2nd Lieutenant

Casualty of WWII, Second Lieutenant Jack Hanlon was a pilot with 572nd Squadron, USAAF, Service No.0672084 He was killed, along with the entire crew,when their aircraft crashed in Essex, England. His remains were repatriated to USA. Here is an account of the crash in which he died: A United States Army Air Force Martin Marauder B26 aircraft crashed in Ashingdon in the fields to the north of Canewdon Road during the Second World War on 24th September 1944. The aircraft was flying from Amy Aerodrome near Roye in France in very bad weather to its home base at Matching Green, Essex. The crew of 5 men died in the crash and a monument was erected in the field near the crash-site. The weather had been atrocious and their previous day's mission to Düren in Germany had to be cancelled due to bad weather so they landed in France. Probably, they should not have set off that day. The very high winds, poor visibility and torrential rain meant that they made slower progress and lost bearings and as a result ran out of fuel, as did the other two crashed aircraft. The heavy rain meant the fields must have been covered in rain water. That is why it is believed that the airmen thought they were landing onto water because all five airmen had removed their boots before the crash, as per normal instructions for landing on water.The other four USAAF airmen who died in the village were :-

The aircraft was a Martin B26 Marauder medium bomber, 42-96102, T6-X, "Lilly Commando", 573rd Squadron."Lilly Commando" was the normal aircraft for First Lt William Youse and his crew."Lilly Commando" was not their normal "ship". Lt Hanlon and Sgt McCarty normally flew on "Rationed Passion". Lt Sink and Sgt Bothel normally flew on Lt Dickinson's aircraft 42-95834, P2-B, "Ill Wind". Cpl Smith normally flew on Lt William Knight's aircraft.Staff Sergeant William L. McCarty is buried at The Cambridge American Cemetery along with 5 of his comrades who died on that same day in the other 2 aircraft that crashed en route to Matching Green, Essex.Lt. Hanlon, Lt. Sink and Cpl. Smith were repatriated to the USA for burial there. Most of the other airmen killed in the other 2 aircraft who were not buried at Cambridge were also repatriated to the USA for burial at the request of their families. It was normal practice for officers to be repatriated.It is not known where Sergeant Bothel is buried. The plaque at the crash site was renewed in 2010 and was an attractive but rather weather worn aluminium panel with the 9th Air Force and 391st Bomb Group insignias. It also had a side view drawing of a B26 and it listed the names of the five USAAF airmen. Only one of those five names was correct - SSgt McCarty. The other four airmen were killed on the same day in two other aircraft.Lt. Baehr normally flew "The Three Bears" but he and SSgt Demyanovich and Lt Yawitz were killed in "Baby Doll III" at Blackmore, Essex.SSgt Crider normally flew with Lt Noland and both were killed in "Miss Laid" at Hatfield Heath, Essex. The replacement plaque omits the name of Frank Bothel; an identical plaque stands in the Ashingdon and East Hawkwell Memorial Hall. (amendments made April 10th 2011.)

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Written in the Cincinnati Enquirer in 2009.