Thursday november 11, 1944, the new created 15th American Air Force , whose headquarters were then based in Tunisia, dispatched for the first time its four-engined planes over France.
Then, 32 B-24 Liberator belonging to the 98th Bomber-Group, attacked the ball bearings factory of Annecy, the S.R.O., and during the return Anthéor's viaduct(Var, France).
If Annecy was severely hit by this raid, unfortunately generating several civilian deaths, a four-engined plane during the one-way flight and whereas the formation flew over the Italian Alps, had to make half turn for technical problems
It was the B-24 D 42-40105 nicknamed "Yankee Doddle Dandy".
Alone, this plane will be the prey of 7 Messerschmitt 109 belonging to Jagdgruppe (JG) 77, whose bases were disseminated around Cuneo.
Burning, with 3 killed men on board, the B-24 will crash close to the top of the Rucustun mount, in the valley of the Terms of Valdieri, approximately 3 miles south/west of Cuneo.
Click to enlarge
From the 7 crewmen remaining who evacuated the B-24 a man will be killed while het went down, strapped to his opened parachute, while another wounded during landing will be made prisoner.
The 5 last crewmen, including the pilot, will succeed in escaping from the occupant and will be helped by the Italian underground under Aldo Quaranta's authority.
To not forget this act of war, was inaugurated by Aéro-Re.L.I.C and the municipality of Validieri/Andonno, 50 years later, November 11, 1993, at the foot of the Rucustun mount, in the little village of Andonno, a monument in the memory of the four young aviators killed during the attack.
6 years later, november 11, 1999, Ron and Gary Potter, sons of the navigator of the plane (second lieutenant Ralph Potter), came for the first time from their life to pray at the foot of the monument, in the presence of the local councillors and of a many people.
These two men, wery touche, will came back home, carrying in their luggage pans and covered in aluminium, manufactured 55 years before, with the wreks of their father's plane...