- Missing airplanes
the efforts, we still to this day can not identify the plane that
Mt. Vulture/Serro del Palo.
- The 485th
BG Association website shows the photo of
the Larkin crew,
the crew of the plane that crashed ""near
- Are they the men fallen
on Mt. Vulture/Serro del Palo?
- Searching on
we find the serial number of their airplane (44-49024), the
exact crash date (April 15, 1944) and the crash area: (15 miles West-South West
from Venosa), compatible with the area of Mt. Vulture.
- By the serial number, we found
interesting data on the
by the Numbers,
by Sammy Schneider (Tarnaby Books, Walnut Creek, CA 2000 -
- MISSION NO 180, 15 april 1944.
- Fourty B-24's took off from Venosa to
bomb GUN INSTALLATIONS near Bologna, Italy, with the escort of
- One of the bombers didn't return to
- It's the plane
49024 is missing. Very little information is available as to where
this ship was last seen. One crew reported having a call from this
aircraft, stating that it was going to a friendly airfield."
Jerry sends us photographs taken at the crash site of this
airplane, the B-24 serial number 44-49024 (Larkin crew).
From the photos we understand: this site is not
Mt. Vulture/Serro del Palo, where the
crash site of a B-24 is proven to have taken place.
- Now there are two unanswered questions:
- Where is,"near Mt. Vulture",
the precise crash site of the airplane
44-49024 (Larkin crew)?
- Who crashed (another B-24 bomber...) at Mt. Vulture/Serro del
- Mr. Quirino Stabile, from the city
of Melfi, answers the first question.
- In April 1945 he was 14 years-old;
looking the photo of the crashed plane (Larkin plane) he remembers:
"a four-engined bomber crashed on Mt. Vulture (Melfi versant). There
were no survivors".
- This testimony is useful: cross-referencing it
with Jerry's crash photos, we can see the framed landscape
exactly compatible with the lower part of the Mt. Vulture fir-wood,
on the Melfi versant.
- The crash occurred precisely on Valle
della Poma: report confirmed by Tonino Gastone and
Michele Moscaritolo (trekkers of the EPAV Association, Melfi)
- At last, we find the crash site of
- The Mr. Stabile's memory answered a question, but opened another question because he remembered
"another bomber crashed on
Mt. Vulture, near San Giorgio, in the Monticchio Bagni area"
(Eastern versant of Mt. Vulture),
it had no survivors...
- How many
planes crashed on Mt. Vulture?
Larkin crew (photo 485th BG).
Front Row, Left to Right: Robert N. Larkin, pilot; Barryon
F. Turner, copilot;
Joseph Perry, bombardier, and John R. Sellers, navigator.
Back Row, Left
to Right: George
C. Yelland, engineer; Joseph Bengivengo, gunner; Treat B. JR (Homer)
Andrew, gunner; George H. McCall, gunner; Robert B. O’Malley, gunner, and
W. H. Jackson, radio operator. The above photo was taken in November of
1944 at March Air Force Base. Lt.
Larkin’s crew arrived at Venosa in December, 1944. Nine members of the
crew were killed in late March or early April, 1945, when their plane
crashed near Mt. Vulture shortly after take-off. One crew member,
John Sellers, was switched to another crew during briefing that day and
survived the war. Sellers also bailed out over Zara, Yugoslavia while
flying with Lt. Clarence Adams’ crew on 2/23/45, was rescued by the
Partisans, and returned to dut
Crash site of the airplane 44 -49024 - Larkin crew
(photos 485th BG).
The woody versant of the
mountain and the landscape lying behind coincide with a view of Mount
Vulture (Melfi versant, Mt. Vulture/Valle della Poma).