Sweatin’ It Out
“Sweatin’ It Out,” B-24 tail #42-52629, left its base at Lavenham, England, as part of the multitude of heavy bombers dispatched against France on D-Day, June 6, 1944. Its target was the road network intersection at Caen.
An SOS was received by the P-51 fighter base at Saffren Walden, in Essex, that the bomber had four dead engines. That was the last word received; the bomber and crew were never seen again. Under the “Persons who are believed to have last knowledge of aircraft” section in the Missing Air Crew Report for this B-24, only the words “No one in this Group” are typed.
No sign of the plane or its crew were ever found. The crew was:
- 2nd Lieutenant Norman E. Gross, Conway, PA
- 2nd Lieutenant Willard D. Haskell, Belmont, MA
- 2nd Lieutenant Francis E. Mek, Kansas City, MO
- Flight Officer Milton Levine, Suffolk County, MA
- Staff Sergeant Benjamin A. Hubel, Jr., Cape Girardeau, MO
- Staff Sergeant Max I. Markowitz, Brooklyn, NY
- Sergeant Charles A. McWilliams, Bloomfield, IA
- Sergeant Stanley J. Benson, Pontiac, MI
- Sergeant Harold O. Allensworth, Houston, TX
- Staff Sergeant Henry B. Westoff, Jr., Syracuse, NY
It was the only loss suffered by the 487th Bomb Group on D-Day.