Hundreds expected to gather for plane crash memorial service

HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – One week from Saturday, hundreds will gather for a solemn remembrance near the summit of Mount Tom. The July 9th gathering at the B-17 Memorial will mark 70 years since the bomber crashed into the mountain.

The monument was unveiled during the 50th anniversary in 1996. The plane had been heading to Westover in July of 1956, on a stop-over from Goose Bay, Labrador when the plane went down. According to Mt. Tom historian Robert Schwobe “25 young men died. They had served their country in World War II. They were on their way home to be discharged and the plane was going to be decommissioned on Long Island.”

The B-17 Memorial committee expects hundreds of the crew members’ survivors to attend next week’s ceremony. They will see not only the monument bearing the airmen’s names, but a flag for each of the men. As a further reminder, the remaining debris of the ill fated plane will also be on display.

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