Friday marks 75th anniversary of tragic B-17 crash at Mt. Tom

Hampden County

HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP)-On July 9th, 1946, this is where a B-17 coming back from Greenland crashed, killing all 25 U.S. servicemen on board.

Many were only in their 20s and their family members come to this site on Mt. Tom every year to remember their loved one, and to honor the rest. Rick Lee was a part of the original B-17 memorial committee who took the idea of hiker, Norman Cote, to put in this monument.

“Its for the purpose to remember each of these men by name,” said Rick Lee, member of the B-17 Memorial Committee. “There will be the laying of the rose on the monument and we’re happy one of the people laying the roses on the monument will be the great-granddaughter of one of the men lost.”

They erected this monument 25 years ago, just 300 feet away from the Mt. Tom Summit to honor these 25 servicemen who tragically lost their lives. Family members will be back here Saturday for another dedication on this sacred ground. Along the path leading up to the monument, are 25 trees, one for each of the servicemen who died. Lee said its just as much as supporting the families, as it is as active military members, who risk their lives serving this country.

“Its not only honoring these young men who died in the service of our country in World War II,
its also about putting our respect out for those men and women keeping us safe today,” said Lee.

All are welcome to attend Saturday’s dedication at Mount Tom, beginning at 10:00am, and we’ll be bringing you coverage on air and online.

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