Memorial pilot 1st Lieutenant Charles A. Felts, 446th Bg

Locatie : Daalhemerweg, 6301 BM Valkenburg,   50°50'52.9"N 5°49'04.0"E

466th Bomb Group On March 12, 1945, an American B-24 Liberator crashed here after the aircraft lost three engines and the entire crew had parachuted to safety.


The team led by pilot 1st Lieutenant Charles A. Felts carried out 17 combat missions until the surrender of Germany, including the mission that ended in the crash at Sibbe.


Navigator tells of the Flight of the Felts crew

'At 1105 hours, while on a Mag. heading of 094 degrees our #1 engine leaked oil. The oil piled up and froze and the engine was feathered at 1202.

Were then at 51-52N and 08-12E. We had to strain the remaining engines to keep up and at some point we lost a second engine-perhaps from flak, perhaps from strain.

At 1239 our bombs were 'away' on target at 50-20N and 80-46E. At this time we were at 20,100 feet with an indicated airspeed of 155 knots.

''From then until we bailed out, a third engine started to give trouble. At 1350, some 71 minutes later, the whole crew bailed out. We were at 13,500 feet at 1320 and on a Mag. heading of 290 degrees.

I have no record of the altitude or the heading for the last 30 minutes. The pilot and I were operating very verbally and he had extreme difficulty in holding the plane on any heading for any duration. ''When the pilot gave the bail out command, all crew members except the pilot and the copilot went to the bomb bay. I left first. All was business-like at the time, as it had been all along. ''We all parachuted within sight of each other over Valkenburg, Holland and were escorted by American burial personnel to a headquarters, for we had landed near a cemetery (probably Margraten). The a/c went into a flat spin and had a pancake landing (at Sibbe). ''Either that day or the next we were put up a rest and relaxation center used by U. S. ground troops. I do not remember its distance from our landing spot or its designation. ''We were there for five or so days without any apparent awareness by our home base. No one, it seems, initiated any action. I hitchhiked to Liege and negotiated our return to home base. ''I think we left Liege for our base some two days later. After our arrival at Attlebridge we were sent to an AAF rest center in South West Central England for some seven days-circa 21 March 1945. It was a mansion. It had spacious grounds. '

Standing (from left): Charles Dondes (N), Edmond Cody Hall (CP), Charles A. Felts (P), Edwin N. Kimmel (B). Kneeling front row: Edward J. Weidner (WG), Martin Tarlosky (NG), Merritt W. McLaughlin (FE), Clinton E. Swanson (TG), Harry J. Bender (WG), Marvin Allard (R/O)