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Seventy years ago this minute - 'Chris' Crate II' has crashed in the North Sea

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by tac, Feb 23, 2015.

  1. tac

    tac UK, Oregon and Ontario. Well-Known Member

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    At just after quarter of eight this morning back in 1945, 'Chris' Crate II' with her full crew on board took off from RAF Attlebridge in Norfolk on a mission.

    As I write this, seventy years later, three of that crew are in the freezing waters of the North Sea, struggling for their lives, after an engine fire, then a hard ditching.

    As I write this, they are in a life raft, and fully aware that there will be nobody else getting out. 'Chris' Crate II' has gone to the bottom of the North Sea.

    As I write this, they paddle around around in the zero degree waters, they can see the tail end of the rest of their pals, in their hundreds, heading to Germany to deliver more war, but their war is with the water, their injuries, and the numbing cold that is sapping their senses, taking away the will to live, with every second.

    As I write this, it's now ten after eight, local time, and not far from me here in East Anglia, just fifteen short miles off Cromer, six of the crew of 'Chris's Crate II' are dead, and three have survived, just.

    The dead are -

    2nd Lt Theodore V Kolaya of Pennsylvania

    2nd Lt Thomas J Foley of Massachusetts

    2nd Lt John F. McGrady of Pennsylvania

    Sgt John White of California

    Sgt Ralph H Wilson of Minnesota

    and Sgt Glenn R Cowan of Indiana

    As I write this, it's over, right now, seventy years ago. They are gone, and forever. Now just names on a wall, mostly.

    Except for Tom Foley, known as Bonny to his fiancée because of his bright blue eyes. Her niece told me how well her aunt remembers him, even today.

    Let's do the same, and remember him, and all the others who gave all their tomorrows so that we could have a today.

    Tac Foley
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2015