B-24 Bomber Crash Commemorated

pietragalla ridotto

Frammenti di Storia poster—courtesy Matteo Pierro, Salerno 1943 Air Finders

Tomorrow in the commune of Pietragalla, Italy, community members will gather for a memorial service in honor of the crew of the American B-24 bomber known as the Fyrtle Myrtle.

The plane crashed 70 years ago this summer—on July 16, 1943.

A group of Italian avian archaeologists of the Salerno 1943 Air Finders group in Italy recovered the wreckage of the Fyrtle Myrtle last year.

The full story of the Fyrtle Myrtle is told on the “B-24 Bomber Fyrtle Myrtle Discovered” post.

Three men survived the crash. Staff Sergeant Edward T. Dzierzynski is listed in the WW II POW database of the U.S. National Archives as having been interned in Camp 59. Although the camp that Staff Sergeant Cyrus F. Johnson Jr. was in is not specified in the database, he likely was held in Camp 59 as well and escaped with Edward Dzierzynski (official records indicate the two men returned to the Allied forces on the same day).

The third survivor, Staff Sergeant Robert E. Dulac, who was badly injured in the crash, was taken to a hospital in Potenza, Italy.

Cyrus F. Johnson is survived by his sons Ron and John Johnson. Lloyd Eldon Kile, who died in the crash, is survived by a nephew, Dennis Heter. I am unaware of any relatives of the other crew members.

Translation of the text of the event poster:

Commune of Pietragalla
Pro Loco Pietragalla
National Association of Families of the Fallen and Missing in the War, Pietragalla Chapter
Salerno 1943 Association

presents
FRAGMENTS OF HISTORY
70 years after the downing of an American aircraft from the skies of Pietragalla

PIETRAGALLO
SUNDAY, AUGUST 4, 2013
19:00, PIAZZA MAGGIO

In Italian:

Comune di Pietragalla
Pro Loco di Pietragalla
Associazione e nazionale famiglie dei caduti e dispersi in guerra – Sezione di Pietragalla
Associazione Salerno 1943

presentano
FRAMMENTI DI STORIA
A 70 anni dall’abbattimento di un aereo americano nei cieli di Pietragalla

PIETRAGALLO
DOMENICA 4 AGOSTO 2013
ORE 19:00 PIAZZA MAGGIO

One thought on “B-24 Bomber Crash Commemorated

  1. David shea

    I want to thank the Air Finders and the young men who witnessed the loss of “Fyrtle Myrtle” on July 16, 1943. I have been trying, for years, to obtain detailed information on the plane, the crew and the events of air combat in 1943. I am the youngest brother of dorsal turret gunner Patrick F. Shea I wish my father, mother and older brother could have read this report and the memorial plaque recognizing the sacrifice made by those young airmen.
    David P. Shea

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s