82nd Airborne Division paratroopers – Serial 24
Dakota C-47 42-23638 crash

Operation Neptune – D-Day – Battle of Normandy

Composition of the American Douglas C-47 Dakota aircraft registered 42-23638 piloted by 1st Lieutenant William R. Hitztaler and belonging to the 14th Troop Carrier Squadron, 61st Troop Carrier Group, 52nd Troop Carrier Wing of the 9th Troop Carrier Command, shot down by German anti-aircraft artillery on June 6, 1944 over Negreville in Normandy while carrying paratroopers belonging to F company,  507th Parachute Infantry Division, 82nd Airborne Division.

Hitztaler has time to give the jumping order to the 19 paratroopers scheduled to be dropped over the coded “T” drop zone more than 12 kilometers to the southeast. But the paratroopers Donn W. Commings and Charles George Stout are injured by the explosions and the radio operator, S/Sgt Orlo A. Montgomery, is fatally wounded. The other paratroopers and crew members have just enough time to jump before the crash: the Douglas C-47 crashes in the locality of Clos Neuf, hamlet of Rouville, north-west of Négreville. The remains of at least two bodies are found in the wreckage of the aircraft: the remains of Charles George Stout is identified, but Orlo A. Montgomery is missing.


Pilot: 1st Lt William R. Hitztaler
Co-pilot: 2nd Lt Stanley E. Edwards Jr.
Navigator: 2nd Lt John Herbert Hendry
Radio operator: S/Sgt Orlo A. Montgomery
Mechanic: T/Sgt Alvin F. Vezin


1st Lt Walter C. Heisler
Sgt Carl R. Letson
Sgt Harry E. LaChance Jr.
T/5 William P. Emmet
Cpl Joseph E.  Romas
Pvt Ricardo R. Alvarez
Pvt Donn W. Cummings
Pvt Bernard D. Ely
Pvt John L. Ponder
Pvt Olivier Lindberg
Pvt Weldon F. Truett
Pvt Charles G. Stout
Pfc Glenn Ball
Pfc George R. Hitchcock
Pfc John E. Hollmann
Pfc Robert T. Hurley
Pfc Blair W. Terryberry
Pfc John C. Wagner
Pfc Robert R. Taylor


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