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I see this is from my original facebook post, here is an updateBENNING WING wrote: Hope this helps.
On the night of June 5, 1944, the paratroopers of the 82nd Airborne Division had been given their orders—“the invasion was on.” On the tarmac at Spanhoe field the 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment was awaiting take off. These were the veterans of many campaigns: North Africa, Sicily and Salerno—the United States’ most experienced infantry. One of the planes of the 43rd TCS of the 315th TCG (nose marked UA, tail marked G), contained a stick from the 505th’s headquarters company’s mortar platoon. The plane contained paratroopers, mortar ordnance and demo-team explosives. While the plane sat on the tarmac, with engines running, a gammon grenade or explosive pack went off, resulting in the wounding or death of almost everyone on the plane. Three died outright, one later that night. Mortar sergeant Melvin Fryer from Edgemere, Md., and two crew members were the only occupants to escape unhurt. He helped remove the wounded from the plane, and after the wounded were being attended to, he went to another plane from the squadron.
Mission Boston Serial 19 Airfield Spanhoeadam517 wrote: Hi All,
I'm sure most are aware of the grenade explosion that took place at Spanhoe on (I beleive) the evening of the 4th when loading up for D-Day the night it was post-poned that resulted in the deaths of 4 Paratroopers from the 505th PIR. Does anybody know the names of those killed, and any information on their plane? Which i'd imagine must have been damaged in someway and maybe grounded?
The correct date and time is June 5th 1944 after 9 pm, (I have a photo taken then) Robert Leakey, Kenneth Vaught, Pete Vah, were killed immediately. Eddie Meelburg died later that night.Robert Leaky and Kenneth Vaught are buried in a cemetery in Cambridge England. Melvin Fryer (my uncle) was killed in Normandy on June 18th 1944 and returned to the US in 1947. At lest two other men on the flight survived the war. William C Hranicky who had helped remove the wounded from the plane. And Ward Dockery who survived his wounds and the war.cpmac wrote: There are some confusing points in these posts. Some mention the fourth and some the 5th.
One post mentions visiting graves of 2 of the men at Colleville normandy cemetery. I suppose these are men who survived the explosion and were killed in Normandy.
As far as I know there are just 4 burials of people not shot down over normndy or killed in the Normandy campaign or the aftermath. Last date of death October 45.