Annual remembrance held at Mt. Tom memorial

Bob Cahillaine was honored at the dedication for his years of service

HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – A solemn but special remembrance was held Saturday on hallowed ground in Holyoke.

The families of the 25 servicemen and women killed in a military plane crash were shuttled up the mountain to the spot where their B-17 Flying Fortress crashed into Mt. Tom in 1946.

Now, 71 years later, the ground remains dedicated to preserving their memory with a stone memorial. It’s a dedication that’s held annually.

The 50th anniversary of the crash in 1996 was attended by more than 400 people and members of 23 of the 25 families of those who died on their way home from World War Two.

Stacy Muci and Ruby Schultz, whose relative died in the plane crash, told 22News, “It’s really meaningful to the families. I think it’s a beautiful thing that hikers who are here who wouldn’t know the meaning behind this spot get to know it now because of the memorial and the statue. It’s become part of the town’s folklore and I think that’s important it keeps the memory of these men alive.”

Bob Cahillaine, the Chairman of the B-17 Memorial Committee, was honored at the dedication for his years of service as he turned over his duties to new Holyoke Veterans Agent Jesus Pereira.