23 agosto 1944 - Beaufighter VIf Nr. MM882 - Mar Ligure

Missing Air Crew Report: Alghero, Sardinia - 414 Night F. Sq. - Intended destination: Ghedi, Italy; Type of mission: Intruder; 22 Aug 1944 - Time: 22.25 - Location: See chart - Aircraft Beaufighter VIf Serial Number MM882; Crew position: Pilot 2nd Lt. Hope, James T. - Radar Observer F/O Phillippi, Carmon J

Statement del Maj. Carol H. Bolender datato 24 agosto 1944: “ This aircrew was airborne in aircraft MM882, a Beaufighter VI F fitted VIII, from Alghero, Sardinia at 1957 hours 22 August 1344 on an intruder mission to Ghedi, Italy. about ten miles south southwest of Brescia, Italy. 2nd Lt JAMES T. HOPE 0-750594 was pilot of the aircraft and F/0 CARMEN J. PHILLIPPI T-192906 was Radar Observer and Navigator. Lt. Hope was due over the target area at 2130 hours and was to leave area at 2200 hours. His takeoff was approximately ten minutes later than the scheduled takeoff which would Make him about ten minutes late in arriving at the target. Lt Hope was carefully briefed to leave the area at 2200 as his relief was to arrive at 2205. The last VHF contact with the aircraft was at 2225 which was overheard by three ground stations and two other aircraft from this squadron which were on the same mission. The last VHF transmission from the aircraft was "Ghetto 34 baling out. Mayday. Mayday". At that time Lt. Hope was on channel E. He was given instructions to change to channel C and transmit for a fix as all fixer stations in the vicinity were standing by on channel C. It would have taken several seconds for Lt. Hope to change from E to C and for the set to warm up and since no transmissions were picked up on channel C it is assumed he did not have time to make the changeover. From the time Lt Hope should have left the target area and the time of his last transmission it is quite certain that he was crossing the Italian coast on the way back to base. His altitude should have been approximately 7000 feet because of the mountains he had to cross. In the past aircraft crossing the coast have experience ack-ack which has been generally inaccurate. If Lt Hope had experienced engine trouble he would have been able to remain airborne long enough to transmit for a fix. From Lt Hope's voice on the list transmission it sounded as if he had to leave the aircraft rather hurriedly. From these facts it is thought the aircraft was damaged by antiaircraft fire. AA air-sea rescue search was carried out the following morming."

Aereo non rientrato ed equipaggio disperso. Nonostante le numerose missioni di ricerca e soccorso, degli aviatori presumibilmente lanciatisi a sud della costa ligure nessuna traccia fu trovata. Essi sono ricordati nel Tablets of the Missing del Florence American Cemetery and Memorial.



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