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Long gone but never forgotten,an interesting story from Italy


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Well,this is a link to an article found yesterday in my local newspaper,sorry it is of course written in Italian.




To make this long story short,the article tells the story of a young USAAF officer who was shot down after a strafing mission on a German Wehrmacht group of vehicles on April 21 1945 just few days before the end of the war in Italy .

He was just 31 years old,the mission took place in the sky of a small village 30 kms north of Modena my hometown.He left his wife and a 6 years old daughter.

The daughter when grown up had a daughter,Ms Bertha Channel from Huntington Beach,Ca.In her interview she tells that she grown up with the sober remembering in her family of his grandfather and the greatest sacrifice of all he gave while fighting for freedom in a foreign Country.Three years ago her mother died,so she decided she wanted absolutely to come to Italy and to try to find the place where his grandfather had died.

Then sometimes a combination of lucky things (nice things) happens,as in this case.Ms Channel and a friend first arrived in Florence,where in the American military cemetery rests his grandfather,then moved to the small village whose name is SAN Felice sul Panaro.In this village,for the celebration 50th anniversary of the end of German occupation the local authority placed a tombstone in remembrance of what happened in 1945.When Ms Channel arrived in the village she looked for someone who could bring her to the site.Since it is a small village everybody knows everyone,so she asked for information to the local police.One of the policemen remembered a particular person who today is 90 years old who,told him of the final firefights that took place around that village in April 1945.He took them to meet that man and the meeting that followed was really very poignant sad and happy at the same time.The now old man remembered clearly what happened,he told all of his memories and took the two ladies to the crash site.Moreover he gave to Ms Connelly a special gift.After the end of the war he took one wheel of the crashed airplane and he kept it in his attic,and with great joy he then presented it to the nephew of this American airman.A great story IMHO







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Very nice story indeed. Thanks for sharing and translating.....

Pvt. James H. Honey 1st Md. Eastern shore Vol. Inf. Co. D (union) Gettysburg
Pvt. George Eddie Lear 26th Inf. Co.H 1st Div .(WW1) P.H. WIA Cpl. Richard Elsea 268th C.A. Bn. Battery A. WW2 SSgt. Grant Elsea 314th Inf. Hq.Co. I.R.79thDiv. WW2
Cpl. Harry Lawrence Butler Jr 23rd Regt. WIA Korea Lt. George Olin Tilghman 111th MG. 29th Div. WW1 DIS France 1919

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That's a great connection to the past. Each year we lose more of that generation that can connect the dots to what happened 70 plus years ago.

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  • 2 months later...

Interesting because I am in contact with a family member who made a trip also in September 2016 to dig the crash site of a P-47 pilot who was shot down at the same time. His crash site was in the area of Bologna. I thought maybe this was the same story but it isn't.

The Army told the family in 1945, that they had recovered his aircraft and his body. But the family went back and dug down 15 feet and found his dog tag and small bones, as well as the P-47 engine and a few machine guns.


Here is one news article about it.


Video: http://www.nwahomepage.com/news/search-for-grandfather-takes-bentonville-man-to-an-italian-farm-field

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