Crash at Aaigem << C for Charlie >>  
In the night of Sunday to Monday 29 mai 1944 at around 02.30, a B-24 liberator of the 801 BG 492 BS (Carpetbaggers) has been hit fatally by a German nightfighter. Both starboard-engines kept fire and the plane became in-manoevrable. A that time, it was flying a secret mission named : Osric 53, dropping arms and material for the resistance in Henegouwen.
logo 3.bmp (960054 bytes)On de photo : standing fltr : 1st Lt William G. RYCKMAN, navigator  ;Lt Henry W. WOLCOTT, pilot  ;1st Lt Robert F AUDA, co-pilot  ;1st Lt Wallis O. COZZENS, boumber  ; fltr : T/Sgt Dervin DEIHL,    ;S/Sgt Richard G HAWKINS, tailgunner ; S/Sgt Frederick A. TUTTLE, waist-gunner  ;T/Sgt Dale S. LOUCKS, marconist (source : coll. Henry Wolcott) logo 2.bmp (1522526 bytes)The’re were 9 crew-members on board :
eight of them could bail-out unhurt, above the territory Burst.
The tail-gunner, R.HAWKINS probable bailed out at an insufficient hight and smashed on an orchard in the hamlet ASHAGE, a couple of douzain meters from the place of crash. (photo : Richard HAWKINS)
 (source : coll. Richard Hawkins)
aaigem2.bmp (244470 bytes)f.l.t.r. : Carmen VOZELLA, Dale LOUCKS, Dervin DEIHL, Frederick TUTTLE     (bron : verz. Frederick Tuttle) Richard HAWKINS has been burried temporary in Aaigem and after war, he get a last resting place in the American Cemetry in Neuville-en-Condroz. The rest of the crew from the C for CHARLIE found back the way to their native country, after a lot of wanderings and events.
On the 21 of july 1944, during a raid of the occupator, searching for American crew-members and members of the local resistance in Burst, Aaigem, Ressegem and Herzele, 19 people were arrested, tortured and a lot of them where placed on transport direction Germany. A few of them could survive the concentration-camp of NEUENGAMME.   logo 22.bmp (1516374 bytes)Castel DU PARC at Herzele where RYCKMAN and COZZENS were hidden temporary

On the 16 of march 2001, pilot H. WOLCOTT of the crashed <<C for Charlie>>, visited the crash-site Ashage in Aaigem.
During his stay in our country, he met several people of the resistance, who helped him going underground and with he corresponds all those years.During the commemoration-ceremony in Aaigem, some doves were released and one minut of silence was complied as a honnour to the deceased tail-gunner R. HAWKINS.

The detailled version of the crash from the <<C for Charlie>> can be found on following site :

(see victims of the Luftwaffe part 3)

The site of the Carpetbaggers-museum can be found on following site :

  The testimony, photos and documents concerning this crash has been written down by the Patriotic Association of Groot-Haaltert and will be part of the book Le Perdreau.
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 B-24 Liberator,  Carpetbagger

On wednesday 29 of mai 2002 at 1100, a rememmoration-monument <<C for Charlie>>, was revealed in Aaigem-Ashage, on the road leading to the crash-site.This monument is an iniative of the Patriotic Association of Groot-Haaltert in coorporation with the municipality of Erpe-Mere.

3.jpg (19605 bytes)the monument on the very early morning

op2.JPG (73307 bytes) the revealing, at least !

op1.JPG (78053 bytes)Mr WOLCOTT by the monument.

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detail of the monument

104.jpg (24047 bytes)American Color-guard
a day to remember...