After approximately 2 years we found something odd during our excavation: a piece of pressed wood, with the shape of a gear. Back home, we looked at all the pictures we had of the B-17 interior: we could not find it. We were beginning to think our plane might not be a B-17……
So, we started to research other planes and to our surprise we found the piece of gear in the bomb bay of… a B-24 Liberator.
The conclusion was made fast: we were looking for the wrong plane!
The whole team was informed and we made new lists with all possible B-24 that crashed in the La Fosse area on december 25th 1944.
We found a couple of planes, but none of them matched the location. We were taking in consideration, to order some MACR via the National Archives, but….normally that would cost a lot of time (and money). We decided to use other ways.
In october 2015 we scanned the terrain for the first time with a deepseeker. Rob Crebbers from the Netherlands came and helped us out. Several spots were marked with poles.
A month later, part of the team came over and started to dig at a spot which gave the biggest signal. After hours of digging (2 meters deep) 2/3 of a tire came up. What suprised us the most, was that one of the guys, Bart de Boer, had to be taken out of the pit because he suddenly felt sick. While trying to get in the pit myself, I new what happend: the unmistakeable smell of….kerosene.
On june 2016 we had a visit of Jerry Coward and his son who wanted to know where their father was killed during the Hurtgen forest fightings. Simon Schuurman, who adtopted the Grave of this brave soldier, joined us in this quest. We were Lucky: Jerry is an aviation specialist and he could determine some of the items we had and he confirmed 100% that we were looking for a B-24.
Time went on and landowner Victor visited us a couple of times. He also did his best to identify the plane. He too visited a couple of local experts. But none of them could answer his questions….
In October 2016 I met Myra Miller for the first time. She is a researcher who lives close to the National Archives. We talked about some of the investigations, we were doing and we also spoke about our B-24. Myra immediately offered her help, wich we greatly appreciated.
Still…..we needed a number…..