On the 28 of June 1944 after bomb raid to Bucharest, near village of Churen, Plovdiv region , crashed B-24H S/N 42-52701, from 485th Bomb Group, 828th Bomb Squadron (15th Air Force). Because the autopilot was out of function, the pilot Lt. Crouchley remained in the plane to provide save bail out of his crew. Probably he died during the crash. 8 airmen were captured the same day. The co-pilot Lt. Hays survived 5 days alone in the mountains.
(MACR 6820, provided by Mr. Randy Hannum)
The Crouchley crew
(This picture was taken the morning of their final flight)
Front Row: J. Crouchley, pilot; W.
Hollowell, bombardier; J. Wilson, navigator; W. Hays co-pilot;,
Rear Row: A. Perillo, right gunner; T. Langstaff, tail gunner; E. LaScotte, nose turret gunner; D. Turner, engineer / gunner; W. Vanmeer, radio officer/ gunner
Mark La Scotte files
Dan Crouchley's files
Lieutenant John “Dud” Crouchley, The pilot
Lt. Hays- copilot
Survived 5 days alone before been captured on the 2 of July 1944
( Courtesy of Harriet Butchko- daughter of Lt.Hays)
Summer 2007- searching for the crash site