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Austin American Statesman Newspaper Article July 1, 2012
Memorial Service May 3, 2013
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The B-24 Liberator HOT STUFF of the 93rd Bomb Group, 330th Bomb Squadron was the
first heavy bomber in the 8th Air Force to complete 25 missions in World War II
even though the famed B-17 Flying Fortress MEMPHIS BELLE wears the label.
This is the story of the B-24 Liberator Hot Stuff
, the first heavy bomber in the 8th Air Force to complete 25 missions in Europe in World War II and, after completing 31 missions was selected to return to the United States on May 3, 1943 to tour the country and help sell war bands. It is also the story of Lt. Gen. Frank M. Andrews, Commander of the European Theater of Operations. He needed to get back to Washington, DC. He knew HOT STUFF’S pilot Capt. "Shine" Shannon and chose to fly back to the United States with him.
When HOT STUFF arrived to pick up Gen. Andrews at Bovington Field, England, Capt. Shannon was surprised that Gen. Andrews had his staff, two Army chaplains and a Civilian Methodist bishop with him. There were not enough seats for everyone on the airplane so five crewmembers including the bombardier, Lt. Robert Jacobson, copilot, john Lentz and three gunners were bumped to make room for Gen. Andrews and his entourage. HOT STUFF had a scheduled refueling stop in Iceland but crashed into a mountain in bad weather. All onboard were killed except the tail gunner, Sgt. George Eisel. Hot Stuff's accomplishment was hushed up and soon forgotten. On May 19,1943, three and a half months after HOT STUFF completed 25 missions, the B-17 Flying Fortress MEMPHIS BELLE was recognized for doing the same with much fanfare. HOT STUFF and the MEMPHIS BELLE flew on the same mission to Wilhelmshaven, Germany on March 22, 1943. HOT STUFF was on her 30th mission, the Memphis Bell was on her 10th mission.
Gen. Andrews was to be notified on May 3, 1943, the day HOT STUFF crashed, that he had been selected to lead all forces across the English Channel for the invasion of Europe. He was killed before he received the message. The job was later given the name Supreme Allied Commander and assigned to Gen. Dwight David Eisenhower nine months later in February 1944.
Gen. Andrews, was recognized as a great leader and the Father of the United States Air Force. Gen. Andrews was honored after the war when Camp Spring Army Airfield in Maryland was renamed Andrews Field (now Joint Base Andrews) but soon after, was nearly forgotten. After the crash, HOT STUFF her crew and others onboard, were forgotten.
HOT STUFF, Gen. Andrews and those killed in that horrific accident rightfully deserve to be remembered for their heroic accomplishments. United States Ambassador to Iceland, Luis Arreaga agrees and is working with Jim Lux, the 93rd Bombardment Group and Iceland government officials to have a memorial monument constructed near the crash site to honor those who lost their lives in the accident.
A memorial monument site was selected and approved by the government of Iceland. It is located along a highway with the mountain where the crash occurred in the background. It is also located near the Blue Lagoon, the biggest tourist attraction in Iceland. A memorial plaque was completed and unveiled at the site on the 70th anniversary of the accident. A flyby and missing man formation was included as part of the unveiling ceremony. A memorial service took place at the Andrews theater in Keflavik after the unveiling. President of Iceland Grimsom, U.S. Ambassador Luis Arreaga spoke and a letter from USAF Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh was read during the service.
Jim Lux, with the help of Icelanders Doddi and Oli Marteinsson, recovered pieces of HOT STUFF wreckage in June 2012 in an effort to have displays featuring pieces of wreckage of HOT STUFF placed in the National Museum of the United States Air Force, the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC. and other prominent museums.
A fund raiser has been initiated, with the help of the 93rd Bombardment Group Association, for the memorial monument honoring HOT STUFF, her crew and those killed in the accident. It will be unveiled on May 3, 2018, the 75th anniversary of the accident.
You can help by making a tax deductible donation to:
93rd Bombardment Group Association
783 North Sedona Court
Grand Junction, Colorado 81506
Donors of $250 or more will receive a copy of a rare book entitled "Ted's Travelling Circus." The book is a comprehensive history of the 93rd Bombardment
Group. The author, Carroll Stewart was the 93rd Bomb Group Historian and Aide to Group Commander, Col. Ted Timberlake. He was also the
founder and editor of the popular military newspaper "The Liberator."
For more information contact Jim Lux at:
Triumph and Tragedy
The following is a two part High Definition video:
1. HOT STUFF crash site and funeral services in May, 1943 and memorial services on the 70th anniversary of the accident in Iceland.
2. Recovering pieces of HOT STUFF wreckage in 2012.
1935 Newsreel of Maj. Gen. Frank M. Andrews GHQ Air Force Commander
Courtesy of Tom Wood author of a forthcoming biography of Gen. Andrews
Interview with Bill Gros Radio Operator on the
B-24 Liberator EAGER BEAVER and best friend of
Ken Jeffers Radio Operator on HOT STUFF.
The following is an interview with Bill Gros radio operator on the B-24 Liberator EAGER BEAVER. His best friend was Ken Jeffers radio operator
on the B-24 Liberator HOT STUFF. Ken was killed when HOT STUFF crashed into a mountain in Iceland. Bill confirms that HOT STUFF was the first
to complete 25 missions in the 8th Air Force.
Interview with Kristine Swan Lent Gros Women Airforce Service Pilot
during World War II.
Gen. Andrews and Hot Stuff Memorial Plaque
dedication on May 3, 2013 in Grindavik, Iceland.
Memorial plaque unveiled on May 3, 2013 the 70th anniversary of the accident. Left to right,
Oli Marteinsson, Jim Lux and Doddi Marteinsson.
An example of the HOT STUFF/Gen. Andrews Memorial Monument
designed by Quiring at:
To be dedicated on May 3, 2018 the 75th anniversary of the accident.
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