Debut for Debach
It was the very first combat mission for the 493rd Bomb Group, based in Debach, England.
Thirty-six B-24’s took off for their target on June 6, 1944.
But when they reached their objective, a road and railroad crossing at Lisieux, France, it was completely covered by cloud.
The decision was made for the group to return to England without dropping their ordnance.
Somewhere over the English Channel, at 10:28 AM, two of the B-24’s collided.
A witness stated “the right wing of A/C (aircraft) 471 struck the tail of A/C 789.
A/C 471 was seen to disintegrate and both A/C 471 and A/C 789 were seen to disappear into the overcast.
One to two chutes were seen out of both A/C 471 and A/C 789.
There is little left to say except to record the names of the crews of the two B-24s.
Of the 20 men, only one, Sergeant James D. Tuohy, of Elizabeth, NJ, survived.