Talbot Marion Malcolm, Jr. Class of 1946, Harvard University.
It was just a little before midnight on 27th May 1944 when a B-24 Liberator four engined bomber lifted into the darkened skies on another training mission from Westover Air Base, Only minutes later the aircraft was a mass of burning debris on a dense wooded area on Mount Holyoke, all ten men aboard had been killed outright.
As Army, Police, & Fire Services rushed to the scene of devastation which lay about 75 feet from the summit, they were hindered by the thick wooded terrain and had engineers cutting a path from the old mountain road to the site.
Parts of the aircraft were scattered over a wide area, and a wing was found 100 feet from the main crash site, on arrival at the scene it was obvious that nothing could be done for the poor unfortunate souls.
From a copy of the accident report it was found that the B-24 was from Section E of 112th Army Air Force Base Unit and was a J model. The B-24 had left Westover with maximum load and had been cleared for a local flight. The pilot was quite experienced on the type having flown a total of 128 hrs 55 mins.
It would appear from all accounts that an error of judgement caused this crash in that pilot held down too long to build up speed, but was not familiar with the mountainous terrain close by and did not have sufficient lift to clear Mount Holyoke, the aircraft struck a path through trees before exploding on the hill at approx 23.53 hours.
Crew of the B-24. Pilot: Second Lieutenant Talbot M. Malcolm Jr. of Westfield, New Jersey; co-pilot, Second Lieutenant, John D. Logan of Topeka, Kansas; Bombardier: Second Lieutenant Donald D. Dowden of Minneapolis, Minnesota; Navigator: Second Lieutenant William Ashley Jr. of Perrysburg, Ohio; Engineer: Sergeant Wilburn H. Dechert of Fredericksburg, Texas; Assistant Engineer: Corporal Kearney D. Padget of Gulfport, Mississippi; Radio Operator: Sergeant Ambrose D. Griffith of Arlington, Massachusetts; Assistant Radio Operator: Corporal Robert J. Ohr of Chicago, Illinois; Gunner: Corporal Ronald C. Lloyd of Sieford, Delaware; Assistant Gunner: Sergeant Arnold H. Anderson of Chicago, Illinois.
MALCOLM, TALBOT M JR
- 2/LT AIR CORPS 471ST HVY BOMB SQ
- DATE OF DEATH: 05/27/1944
- BURIED AT: SECTION 4 SITE 263-C
- ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY
Michael Robert Patterson was born in Arlington and is the son of a former officer of the US Army. So it was no wonder that sooner or later his interests drew him to American history and especially to American military history. Many of his articles can be found on renowned portals like the New York Times, Washingtonpost or Wikipedia.
Reviewed by: Michael Howard