Tim Black briefed us on the Central Texas Wing of the Commemorative Air Force's Casino Night with a classic car show afternoon
at the San Marcos Airport on April 26. You could win a flight on their B-25. There is also an AOPA regional fly-in at the airport that day.|
On the 6th of May, the Daedalian National Headquarters is having an open house at Randolph at 1230 to 1430.
Ron Butler introduced Jim Lux, a history buff, who has organized many airshows for the Confederate Air Force. He became interested in the B-24, Hot Stuff, which crashed in 1943. Andrews AFB was named after the co-pilot on the last flight. Jake Jacobson missed this flight, but he was the bombardier on the last combat mission and flew on a B-29 on the last combat mission of the war on August 14th, 1945
Hot Stuff, a member of the 93rd Bomb Group, was the first heavy bomber to fly 25 missions. On Feb 7, 1943 after completing 31, it was decided to return it and its crew to the US to promote the war effort. The tail gunner had 6 official kills and may have shot down 30 more. This undoubtedly contributed to their success. Three and a half months later, the B-17 Memphis Bell completed her 25 missions, and was sent home to promote war bonds.
LtGen Andrews was the commander of all US forces in Europe and had been chosen to become the Supreme Allied Commander until he died and was replaced by General Eisenhower. He had been requested to return to the states and chose Hot Stuff for the trip. He also bumped some of the assigned crew for seats for his staff. The plane flew from England to Iceland, but when they arrived, the snow and rain prevented a landing at the destination air field. They flew to another, but it turned out to be worse. While maneuvering back to the destination field, they ran into a mountain about 150 feet from the top. The impact killed fourteen people. The tail gunner was the only person to survive the impact, but soon, there was a fire and some of the munitions cooked off. He was trapped in the tail, but was rescued 24 hours later. The mountain has no vegetation higher than 12 inches and is covered in loose rock. The slope appeared to be less than 40 degrees and there is still some wreckage in the area after 69 years. When Jim visited the site, he brought back several pieces which he had on display. The Icelanders made implements and tools from the material.
The Icelandic president was at the dedication of a plaque in 2013 for the 70th anniversary of the crash. Jim is coordinating donations for a memorial to be installed for the 75th anniversary. They have $ 13,000 and need about $ 70,000. Jim has made many presentations at World War II and aviation museums and at the military academies. On March 9th, there is a memorial charity golf match.
The Flight Captain thanked Jim for his important bit of history. The Provost Marshal proposed a toast to the speaker, and the Flight Captain thanked everyone for coming and closed the meeting at 1353