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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
There is also located "cache" for Geocaching fans, more information is here
GPS coordinates of the monument are:
- 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
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...