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 Erwin Dennis Conley Sr.

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Erwin Dennis Conley Sr.

Birth
Johnson City, Broome County, New York, USA
Death
1944 (aged 31–32)
France
Burial
Johnson City, Broome County, New York, USA
Plot
Sec 1, Lot# 113B - East, S.G.N.E.
Memorial ID
85077442 View Source

Radio Op. S/Sgt. Erwin D. Conley KIA
Hometown: New York
Squadron: 577th BS 392nd Bomb Group
Service # 32476248
Awards: Purple Heart
Pilot 2nd/Lt. Gerald M. Dalton KIA

Target: Friedrichshafen
Missing Air Crew Report Details
USAAF MACR#:#03320
Date Lost: 18-Mar-44
Serial Number: #41 -29174
Aircraft Model B-24
Aircraft Letter:"R"
Aircraft Name: "AMBLING OAKIE" 25th Mission
Location: North of Le Ployron, France
Cause: mid-air collision

The mission this day would see the 392nd suffer its heaviest losses, both aircraft and aircrew members, of any individual raid ever flown during its combat experience in World War II. Before the mission was completed, (14) aircraft and crews would be lost and (9) other ships damaged by fighters and flak, all totaling (154) casualties. General briefing for (28) aircrews was conducted between 0400-0530 hours.

MISSION LOSS CIRCUMSTANCES: An eye-witness account from returning aircrew members of the Group stated that the Dalton aircraft had been caught in violent propeller 'wash' and suffered a mid-air collision with another 392nd ship which at the time was falling back out of formation. The other plane was later determined to be 1/Lt. Feran's (#41-28651). The event was noted to have occurred at 1233 hours over France enroute at position 49-34N, 02-16E. German ground reports later confirmed (by tail number) that these two ships had indeed collided in mid-air.

German ground reports confirmed that the Dalton and Feran planes went down in very close proximity to each other. Several reports noted the 'mixing' of names comprised of both aircrews during recovery of the bodies and later their initial burials together in the same location. All 19 crewmen from both aircraft who were killed were accounted for in these documents. The primary German Reports dealing with these facts were KU #1236, from Headquarters Airfield 5/Xl Mondidier and KU #1237. Investigation Report #5/2072 on the Dalton ship, #41-29174, stated this Liberator had collided with another B-24 (Report #5/2073) at 1232 hours in mid-air, and had crashed about 800 meters north of Le Ployron, France, eight kilometers south of Mondidier. It stated this ship was completely destroyed and burned after the crash in all probability "from the incendiary bombs it had been carrying which contained liquid fuel". All crewmembers were found dead; and no Group identification was discernible except
a blue "D" in a white circle, and a portion of the rudder fin with an 'R' below the serial numbers reported.

INDIVIDUAL ACCOUNTS OF CREWMEN FATES: The only survivor report was waist gunner Sgt Payne. Payne, was helped by the French underground forces and successfully evaded. After he returned to England on 4 July 1944, he made a statement to U.S. European Military Intelligence authorities concerning this mishap. The Dalton ship had a section of the right wing torn off behind the #4 engine as well as a portion of the tail assembly. The other plane (Feran's) had lost its left tail section and both wings. The collision occurred at 23,000 feet and Payne believed that he was the only one of his crew who was wearing a parachute at the time of this accident. The French people who helped him evade had told him that three officers of the Dalton crew were found clear of the wreckage; none was wearing a chute. They also said these crewmembers were identified at the crash site by their ID tags. Payne further stated that according to reports given to him, all crewmen on both aircraft had perished. In h
is Escape and Evasion Report (#823), Sgt Payne provided these details. "On the way to Friedrichshafen, tail-end Charlie of our squadron peeled off and, since we were flying spare, we moved up into his position. Later he came back toward us and his rudder hit our right wing between the outboard engine and the wing tip. Our plane went up. I threw off my flak suit, grabbed my parachute, and reached for the waist window. The plane broke in two where I was standing, and I fell out at about 23,000 feet." Damage caused by this collision: The right wing beyond the #4 engine had broken off and the tail was broken off from the waist. The left tail of the other plane (Lt Feran's, #42-28651) was broken off as were parts of both wings.

BURIAL RECORDS: All casualties of this aircrew and 1/Lt Feran's (MACR #3324) were interred in a cemetery at the eastern outskirts of Le Ployron, France. Three Dalton crewmembers were not identifiable by the Germans; they were later determined to be 2/Lt Sherman, 2/Lt. Brandes and Sgt Taylor. The French civilians buried 20 coffins at Le Ployron Cemetery in an effort to convince the Germans that everyone in the two planes had been killed and thus help S/Sgt Payne avoid capture. Three of the crewmen are now interred in the Epinal American Cemetery, four miles south of Epinal (Voges), France, on the west bank of the Moselle River: Dalton (Grave B-25-22); Brandes (Grave A-17-11); and Brown (Grave B-37-51).

Crew of "AMBLING OAKIE"
2Lt. Gerald M. Dalton Pilot KIA
2Lt. Harold D. Storey Co Pilot KIA
2Lt. Phillip Sherman Navigator KIA
2nd/Lt. Arony H. Brandes Bombardier KIA
S/Sgt. Homer W. Holmes Engineer KIA
S/Sgt. Erwin D. Conley Radio Op. KIA
S/Sgt. John T. Brown Gunner KIA
S/SGT Charles F. Payne Gunner EVD
Sgt. Harner H. Hildebrand Gunner KIA
Sgt. Adraine L. Taylor Gunner
S/Sgt. Leo E. Bernard Gunner

Radio Op. S/Sgt. Erwin D. Conley KIA
Hometown: New York
Squadron: 577th BS 392nd Bomb Group
Service # 32476248
Awards: Purple Heart
Pilot 2nd/Lt. Gerald M. Dalton KIA

Target: Friedrichshafen
Missing Air Crew Report Details
USAAF MACR#:#03320
Date Lost: 18-Mar-44
Serial Number: #41 -29174
Aircraft Model B-24
Aircraft Letter:"R"
Aircraft Name: "AMBLING OAKIE" 25th Mission
Location: North of Le Ployron, France
Cause: mid-air collision

The mission this day would see the 392nd suffer its heaviest losses, both aircraft and aircrew members, of any individual raid ever flown during its combat experience in World War II. Before the mission was completed, (14) aircraft and crews would be lost and (9) other ships damaged by fighters and flak, all totaling (154) casualties. General briefing for (28) aircrews was conducted between 0400-0530 hours.

MISSION LOSS CIRCUMSTANCES: An eye-witness account from returning aircrew members of the Group stated that the Dalton aircraft had been caught in violent propeller 'wash' and suffered a mid-air collision with another 392nd ship which at the time was falling back out of formation. The other plane was later determined to be 1/Lt. Feran's (#41-28651). The event was noted to have occurred at 1233 hours over France enroute at position 49-34N, 02-16E. German ground reports later confirmed (by tail number) that these two ships had indeed collided in mid-air.

German ground reports confirmed that the Dalton and Feran planes went down in very close proximity to each other. Several reports noted the 'mixing' of names comprised of both aircrews during recovery of the bodies and later their initial burials together in the same location. All 19 crewmen from both aircraft who were killed were accounted for in these documents. The primary German Reports dealing with these facts were KU #1236, from Headquarters Airfield 5/Xl Mondidier and KU #1237. Investigation Report #5/2072 on the Dalton ship, #41-29174, stated this Liberator had collided with another B-24 (Report #5/2073) at 1232 hours in mid-air, and had crashed about 800 meters north of Le Ployron, France, eight kilometers south of Mondidier. It stated this ship was completely destroyed and burned after the crash in all probability "from the incendiary bombs it had been carrying which contained liquid fuel". All crewmembers were found dead; and no Group identification was discernible except
a blue "D" in a white circle, and a portion of the rudder fin with an 'R' below the serial numbers reported.

INDIVIDUAL ACCOUNTS OF CREWMEN FATES: The only survivor report was waist gunner Sgt Payne. Payne, was helped by the French underground forces and successfully evaded. After he returned to England on 4 July 1944, he made a statement to U.S. European Military Intelligence authorities concerning this mishap. The Dalton ship had a section of the right wing torn off behind the #4 engine as well as a portion of the tail assembly. The other plane (Feran's) had lost its left tail section and both wings. The collision occurred at 23,000 feet and Payne believed that he was the only one of his crew who was wearing a parachute at the time of this accident. The French people who helped him evade had told him that three officers of the Dalton crew were found clear of the wreckage; none was wearing a chute. They also said these crewmembers were identified at the crash site by their ID tags. Payne further stated that according to reports given to him, all crewmen on both aircraft had perished. In h
is Escape and Evasion Report (#823), Sgt Payne provided these details. "On the way to Friedrichshafen, tail-end Charlie of our squadron peeled off and, since we were flying spare, we moved up into his position. Later he came back toward us and his rudder hit our right wing between the outboard engine and the wing tip. Our plane went up. I threw off my flak suit, grabbed my parachute, and reached for the waist window. The plane broke in two where I was standing, and I fell out at about 23,000 feet." Damage caused by this collision: The right wing beyond the #4 engine had broken off and the tail was broken off from the waist. The left tail of the other plane (Lt Feran's, #42-28651) was broken off as were parts of both wings.

BURIAL RECORDS: All casualties of this aircrew and 1/Lt Feran's (MACR #3324) were interred in a cemetery at the eastern outskirts of Le Ployron, France. Three Dalton crewmembers were not identifiable by the Germans; they were later determined to be 2/Lt Sherman, 2/Lt. Brandes and Sgt Taylor. The French civilians buried 20 coffins at Le Ployron Cemetery in an effort to convince the Germans that everyone in the two planes had been killed and thus help S/Sgt Payne avoid capture. Three of the crewmen are now interred in the Epinal American Cemetery, four miles south of Epinal (Voges), France, on the west bank of the Moselle River: Dalton (Grave B-25-22); Brandes (Grave A-17-11); and Brown (Grave B-37-51).

Crew of "AMBLING OAKIE"
2Lt. Gerald M. Dalton Pilot KIA
2Lt. Harold D. Storey Co Pilot KIA
2Lt. Phillip Sherman Navigator KIA
2nd/Lt. Arony H. Brandes Bombardier KIA
S/Sgt. Homer W. Holmes Engineer KIA
S/Sgt. Erwin D. Conley Radio Op. KIA
S/Sgt. John T. Brown Gunner KIA
S/SGT Charles F. Payne Gunner EVD
Sgt. Harner H. Hildebrand Gunner KIA
Sgt. Adraine L. Taylor Gunner
S/Sgt. Leo E. Bernard Gunner


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