United States Army Air Force Aircrew – World War II: 22 January 1943

George O. Broussard, Jr., Second Lieuenant, United States Army Air Force, and Harold Kaplan, Technical Sergeant, United States Army Air Force, were killed on 22 January 1943, during World War II.  They were buried together in Section 15 of Arlington National Cemetery.

We are seeking information regarding these individuals.  Should you possess such information, kindly contact the Webmaster.

Per your request, here is some additional information on Second Lieutenant George O. Broussard, Jr., who was killed-in-action on January 22, 1943.

Second Lieutenant Broussard was my mother’s (Annabell Broussard) first cousin.
D.O.B.: Will advise after further research. Birthplace: Morgan City, Louisiana
Attended College: Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Further information on Second Lieutenant George O. Broussard, my mother’s first cousin, and his crew:

Lieutenant Broussard and the entire crew of his B-24D, serial # 41-24018 were killed, when the plane hit terrain, at Hartland Point in the U.K. on January 22, 1943). Detailed information is available by obtaining the report of the incident MCAR 6384.

P 32 of Max Schoenfeld’s book, STALKING THE U-BOAT, published by The Smithsonian, contains the following:

“On January 22, 1943, aircraft S of the 2nd Squadron (S/2) was returning from when bad weather settled in over southwest England.  Approaching the coast of England, the plane requested that it be assisted by the 19 Group controller, who was asked to give it homing directions according to established procedures, to enable the plane to find its airfield.  Unfortunately, this request was made on the wrong radio frequency, and the group controller declined to respond. Although the controller at St. Eval then attempted to do so, he was too late, as the plane, flying through the pea soup, slammed into the shoreline cliffs about two miles east of Hartland Point, 40 miles up the coast from Newquay, killing the entire crew. The plane hit the Cliffside about 50 feet below its crest.”

In the judgment of the American Unit, this loss was quite unnecessary, and could have been avoided either by the pilot who lad adequate fuel, remaining off the coast until he was able to get ground assistance, or “if he was going on instruments, to proceed to do so at a safe altitude,” or by “the exercise of better judgment by the officer in charge of the ….19 Group radio station.”  With some feeling, the loss report observed: “The aircraft was obviously in difficulty, consequently it is believed that the 19 Group Station should not have quibbled about a technicality.”  The report also noted that “strong verbal representation has been made to the AOC, 19 Group (that it was essential) that in an emergency, all possible assistance will not be withheld because of a technicality.”

Notes to pages 32-34, STALKING THE U-BOAT

53. “Fatal Aircraft Crash,” January 24, 1943, MR B0638.  The aircraft’s msn was 41-24019.  Broussard had completed four local training flights from St. Eval, and one operational patrol before the fatal one.  He had 460 hours total pilot time, 250 of which were in the B-24D.  His radio operator requested homing assistance from the 19 Group Controller seven times in the space of 38 minutes, four times prefaced immediate or priority.

“The following communication was addressed to the wife of Lieutenant Broussard who was killed while serving his country”.  It read in part, “I have the honor to inform you that the “Purple Heart” decoration has been awarded, posthumously, to your husband, Second Lt. George O. Broussard, Jr., Air Corps, who made the supreme sacrifice in defense of his country.”

The St. Eval Parish Church, Book of Memories, in St. Eval, England contains the following entries for 1943, concerning Lieutenant Broussard and his crew:

Date         Rank      Surname   Christian Name   Service Number        Unit
22 Jan 43    2nd Lt.   Broussard    George O.             0-726188      2nd A-S Sqn
22 Jan 43    2nd Lt.     Deshant,   Leonard C.                                 2nd A-S Sqn
22 Jan 43    2nd Lt.     Shedden         Robert L.            0-789821       2nd A-S Sqn
22 Jan 43  2nd Lt.Stone     Elliot E.            0-727676       2nd A-S Sqn
22 Jan 43    T Sgt      Craig      Grant L.     2nd A-S Sqn
22 Jan 43    T Sgt.     Hickman          Benard F  39 164691      2nd A-S Sqn
22 Jan 43    T Sgt.     Kaplin              Harold  17 074873      2nd A-S Sqn
22 Jan 43    T Sgt.     Kozjak             Frank, Jr.  17 074873      2nd A-S Sqn
22 Jan 43    T Sgt.     Shaheen         George M.   36 012549     2nd A-S Sqn
22 Jan 43    S Sgt      Nagy               Robert L.   33 012549     2nd A-S Sqn

Note:  George Broussard’s crew and aircraft belonged to the US Army Air Corps 2nd Squadron which had been diverted at the last minute to St. Evall, England because of a request of Winston Churchill, to aid the RAF 19th Sub Hunter Group at a critical time in the Battle of the Atlantic. The controller who refused to give Lt. Broussard’s radio homing assistance was a member of the RAF’s 19th Group.


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