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Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress, Sligo, December 1943

The long transatlantic ferry flight of this aircraft ended in tragedy for its crew when it crashed into the slopes of Mount Truskmore in north Sligo on the foggy afternoon of December 9th, 1943. Three young members of the United States Army Air Forces lost their lives as a result and the seven survivors faced many months of recovery in most cases. The story is told in the Adobe PDF format file linked to in the box below. It tells the story of the ten men who flew 42-31420 on her last flight and the tales of the local people in the area of the crash.

Richard Walch W M Grim
Seeking photo of Sgt Emil C Drake Seeking photo of Sgt Adam J

the story of the crew of 42-31420 is told below in the document viewer, a direct link to the pdf is provided below that.

If you can provide any help in finding relatives of these two members of the crew I would be most grateful: Sgt Adam J Latecki of Chicago, Illinois. He was the son of Stephen and Mary Latecki. His father died in the 1930's and his mother remarried to become Mary Stopa, wife of Phillip Stopa, again of Chicago. Adam had one sister, Mary Latecki who died in 1987. Sgt Emil C Drake, born 1908 in Arkansas to Nannie Fletcher and Columbus Drake. His father was a soldier in the US Army before World War 1. His father appears to have served with the Canadian Army during the war but little more can be traced of him there after. Emil Drake worked a store clerk before and after the war. He was badly injured in the crash. Sadly, in January 1949, Emil and his mother were killed in a traffic accident on a highway in Tennessee. Both lie buried side by side in the Oak Grove Cemetery, Searcey, Arkansas. The national museum in Dublin at the time of writing (2012) have one of the wrecked engines from 42-31420 on display in the Soldiers and Chieftains area of the Collins Barracks Museum. In 2011, they put on display beside it some items donated by Carl Williamson's family. These photos are taken on my mobile phone so excuse the quality.

Click on the box below to access the story.