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Final flight of a US Airforce B-24 Liberator bomber


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Final flight of a US Airforce B-24 Liberator bomber


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Memorial at Dole near Idrija

Memorial at Dole near Idrija

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Final flight of a US Airforce B-24 Liberator bomber


A memorial was erected in the village of Dole by the Municipality of Idrija and the Silver Wings Flying Club in memory of an American B-24 Liberator bomber's final flight.

At the time the leaders of the Allied air forces were convinced that the German military machine could be stopped if their supply of fuel and lubricants were halted.  They bombed crude oil refineries, synthetic fuel plants and fuel stores.

On 16 December 1944, 15 squadrons attacked several targets in Germany with 600  B-17 and B -24 bombers. The most important targets were in Brüx, Plzeň, Linz, Innsbruck and Villach.

Among these bombers was a B-24 Liberator, serial number 42-51922. The bomber was the only one that failed to return to its home base, having taken part in the bombing over Brüx in the Czech Republic.

The crew was made up of 11 members. The plane was almost new and had recently flown to the Toretta airbase in Italy.

During the bombing of targets in Germany, it was the only aircraft to be hit and damaged by German flak fire. Fuel began to escape from the tank. The crew did not notice for some time. Somewhere over the Alps, the pilot informed the crew about the leaking fuel and that there would not be enough to return to base.

Eight of the crew members parachuted over Rovte, with the remaining three parachuting over Jelič Peak.

In early 1945, all were captured by the Germans and removed to a POW camp for aircrew in the Baltics. After the war they all returned to the US.

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