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JAMES N. PRATT CREW - 427th BS
B-17F #42-29995 Mr Five-by-Five (427BS) GN-I
(crew assigned 427BS: 13 Apr 1943 - photo: 18 July 1943)
(Back) 1Lt James N. Pratt (P-KIS), 2Lt William A. Bowling (CP-KIS),
2Lt Allen M. Boner (N-KIS), 1Lt Leonard B. Bierman (B)*
S/Sgt Joseph E. Scheuerer (E)*,
Scheueuer: front far left - Schilling: front far right
(KIS) On 04 Aug 43 in B-17F #42-3124 (No name) (427th BS) GN-N. B-17 crashed on the summit of Arenig Fawr, a 2,800 foot mountain in Snowdonia, Wales (six miles due west of Bala) while on a night cross-country training flight. All eight crewmen were KIS (Killed in Service). Capt Quentin Hargrove, 427th BS Engineering Office and Capt Louis A. Lame, Flight Surgeon were dispatched to the crash site to investigate the crash and recover the eight bodies in the crashed B-17. The following men, who were not regular Pratt Crewmen, were on the 04 Aug 43 flight: Sgt Walter B. Robinson (KIS), Sgt Phillip Simonte (KIS) & PFC Alfred B. Van Dyke (KIS)
(*) Five regular Pratt crewmen who were not on the 04 Aug 43 flight. Schilling was KIA on 25 Feb 1944 flying with the 381st Bomb Group.
A group of caring people erected a memorial at the crash site, shortly after the end of WWII, to pay tribute to this unlucky crew that hit the mountain that stood away from the population center of Snowdonia. For many years a group of Bala citizens woud climb the mountain and place a floral wreath at the monument.
[click image for a larger view]
After 75 years on the summit of Arenig Fawr the original plaque, which had been erected in 1945, had deteriorated to such an extent that it was decided to replace it. The original slate plaque was replaced on the 31st August 2019 by one cast in silicon bronze, in an identical size and inscription to the original. This was followed by a dedication on the 4th September by a contingent from the RAF and USAF and local people.
The team installing the plaque were: (L-R) Richard Evans, Gwynant Roberts, Gethyn Ap John, Wil Roberts, Bryn Lloyd Jones, Ted McAvoy, Glyn Williams, Edwyn Evans, Andrew Roberts, Andy Thompson and the photographer Rory Trappe who is not in the picture.
This was the culmination of two years planning by Richard Evans and Dilwyn Morgan. Dilwyn Morgan was not present on the installation day and consequently is not shown in the photograph of the installation team taken on 31st August 2019.
On 23 May 1996, a plaque was placed on the entrance Wall of the Bala, Gwynedd, North Wales Village Hall. The plaque was donated by the Village of Tinley Park, IL the home town of Navigator 2nd Lt Allen M. Boner.
[Information from 303rdBGA Historian Harry D. Gobrecht and Richard Evans]