A World War II airman’s “piloting skill” helped save 7 troopers from a crash in 1944. His stays have now been recognized.

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The stays of a United States Air Force pilot have been recognized nearly 80 years after he heled save the lives of seven airmen throughout World War II, officers introduced this week.

Lt. William B. Montgomery, a 24-year-old from Ford City, Pennsylvania, died in the summertime of 1944, in keeping with the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, a department of the U.S. Department of Defense that focuses particularly on recovering lacking American army personnel. DPAA confirmed in a news release that Montgomery was accounted for in January, almost eight many years after investigators declared his physique non-recoverable whereas conducting land surveys within the years that adopted the battle.

Montgomery was killed on June 22, 1944, when the plane he was piloting went down close to the coast of the United Kingdom. At the time, he was assigned to a bomb squadron inside the Army’s Eighth Air Force, in keeping with DPAA. On the day of his dying, Montgomery was piloting a B-24H Liberator bomber, carrying 10 crew members together with himself.

Lt. William B. Montgomery died in June 1944 when the airplane he was piloting crashed right into a farm in West Sussex, England, after being struck by anti-aircraft throughout World War II.

Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency

After a raid on a German airfield in Saint-Cyr-l’École, close to Versailles, France, Montgomery’s crew was struck by anti-aircraft that broken the airplane. But the lieutenant was nonetheless capable of fly the plane till it reached the U.Okay., a feat that officers say was doable due to Montgomery’s “piloting skill.” He then ordered the crew to exit the airplane earlier than it crashed right into a farm in West Sussex, England.

“Despite the damage to the B-24 Liberator, Montgomery’s piloting skill allowed him to nurse the aircraft until it was over the English coast, whereupon he ordered his crew to bail out,” DPAA wrote in its announcement confirming Montgomery had been recognized. “Seven of the airmen parachuted successfully while the other three crew members, including Montgomery, were still on board. Two of the crew witnessed the aircraft crashed into a farm in West Sussex, England.”


Several makes an attempt to get well human stays and plane remnants from the crash website within the many years for the reason that crash have been unsuccessful. Montgomery’s stays have been amongst these finally discovered throughout a DPAA investigation carried out in 2021, the company stated. Scientists on the company used mi tochondrial DNA evaluation, “anthropological analysis as well as material evidence” to substantiate his id.


Montgomery shall be buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia at an undetermined future date, the company stated.

Pictured: Sergeant John Crowther, entrance proper, and Lieutenant William Montgomery, beside him (second proper).


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