letecká historie


Old plane, new crew- Fragments of old event (Volume 2)

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Nearly 68 years that have passed since the events of December 1944, described in previous articles, almost erased the traces that remain of them. However, you can still find artifacts that commemorate these events. Scattered debris of the B-24 Liberator "Arsenic and Lace," which fell at Neředín district and surrounding fields are impossible to find. The area is now completely built-up. Remains of the bomber were collected mostly by members of the Wehrmacht and the Luftwaffe and moved to airbase Olomouc-Neředín. What happened to them afterwards is not known. Part of the debris was picked up by local residents, whether in memory or to any use. Also these items are lost over the years, dumped somewhere or forgotten.

The situation is different in the case of 42-32097 "Slipstream" bomber near Bystrovany. A few fragments preserved by a few good people still indicative of ancient event very convincingly.

Armor protection of a tail gunner

For many years, Mr. Šnevajs from Bystrovany protected instead of one of the slate tiles, which formed the sidewalk in his yard, a steel plate. After he gave them to the author, who found that it is an armor plate, which originally protected the rear gunner on its position from the attack from the background. The gunner was leaning on it, as shown the diagram. However, this plate probably did not protected Sgt. Robert E Lary. The plate is at the upper part shot through by a bullet caliber 13 mm, probably from the German Rheinmettal- Borsig MG131 machine gun. Focke-Wulf FW-190A-8 were equipped by this machine gun. The bullet went through eight-milimeters thick plate and can hit the gunner, but this is not certain. What is certain is that the tail gunner didn´t survived the crash.


‹ Armour plate from "Slipstream" bomber, found in the garden at the Bystrovany village


‹ Detail photo of the 13 mm bullet hole


‹ Photos of the tail gunner position, on the left from the outside, on the right from the inside with a armour plate showing on its original position


‹ drawing of the tail gunner position, location of armor plate is shown in red color

Propeller blade

Another eloquent witness of fierce battle is also a propeller blade which has been preserved to this day in perfect condition. Who found it and saved, we aren´t able to find.Blade is currently located in a private collection. Blade is shoot through of the 20 millimeter grenade of Mauser MG151 cannon from the front side . Granade remained subdued in the blade into their half and form a unique document of the German fighter front side attack.

propeller blade

‹ vPropeller blade from B-17 42-32097, on the top right is detail of 20 mm granade, below is a detail of instruction labels on the blade surface

propeller spinner and parachute harness

Mr. Žádník from Bystrovany took care the aluminum propeller spinner since time immemorial. Originally it was used, fixed on a piece of wooden board as a birdhouse for tits that flew out of holes in the front of the spinner. Similarly, the parachute harness and a piece of parachute rope served as a dog guide. Only through such purposes, these artifacts have been preserved to this day.


‹ on the left propeller spinner, on the right parachute harness remains

At the crashplace...

The place of impact of major parts airplane parts hasn´t been changed much since World War II. During the survey,at a years 2010 and 2011 using the metal detector, I found several artifacts which surely came from our bomber. In the field near th fort were already during the first survey found remnants of caliber 50 Colt-Browning machine guns M2 ammo. Over the years,broken by hundreds of plows across whole the field, shows a place where the fuselage hit.


‹ A field next to the fort of Bystrovany, a place where fuselage crashed, on the left 12,7 mm caliber rounds


Cal 50 ammo manufacturers codes:
M = Milwaukee Ordnance Plant - Milwaukee, Wisconsin
LC = Lake City Army Ammunition Plant - Independence, Missouri
Digits 42, 43, or 44 indicates a year when were made

On the opposite side of the river Bystřička, near the Hodolany district cemetery was on the edge of a field adjacent to the river found a greater number of fragments of one Wright Cyclone engines, which fell here. These are mainly fragments of aluminum cooling ribs of the engine cylinders. Were also found pieces of the engine carter cover, remnants of the valve yoke arm caps and also one of the yoke.Damaged engines remained here until the summer of 1945, when they were taken away. The last of them, perhaps even longer laying beside cemetery.


‹ remains of the valve yoke arm caps


‹ small engine fragments, some of them have production marks, on the left


‹ on the left is larger piece of aluminium cilinder head with ribs, a piece of engine carter cover on the right


‹ the valve yoke from Wright Cyclone engine, found on the left side of the river Bystřička at a year 2011


For this event did not fall into oblivion, community of Bystrovany along with friends of military history, association with the rehabilitated military persons of Olomouc, built a small memorial. The wooden cross on a stone pedestal, with a brief description of the event was delivered to the public on 8th May 2004, the cross is located on the right bank of the river Bystřice near military fort in the middle of the place where fell the most debris from the airplane and were killed six airmen. Memorial and its surroundings took custody young scouts form Bystrovany village.


‹ 8th May 2004, unveiling of a monument near Bystrovany


‹ deatils of the plate on the cross

There is also located "cache" for Geocaching fans, more information is here

GPS coordinates of the monument are:
49°35'40.529"N, 17°18'29.189"E

Jiří Černošek

- MACR 10635
- Pamětník letecké bitvy: mladí neznají dějiny, MF Dnes, 7. Února 2004
- Individual deceased personnel file:
- Brown, Robert A.
- Manzella, Vincent C.
- Davis, Edward E.
- Person, Walter G.
- Anton, Byron C.
- Bergman, Roland D.
- National archives and Records administrative
- Sbírka J. Krumbacha
- Zemský archiv v Opavě, pobočka Olomouc
- Vzpomínky na neznámé letce, Jan Mahr, Miroslav, 2011
- Kronika obce Hlušovice
- Kronika obce Bystrovany
- http://www.99bombgroup.org
Special Thanks to:
Julie Hebert-Ruster Price, Dennis Brown, Jack Fowler, Paul E. Barselou, Ward C. Randolph, George Hilton, Marek Hradil, Jan Mahr,
And many others...