Sgt Philip E. Trimmer, Jr - North Pickenham, May 1945
The Robert E. Heichel crew - England 28 April 1945.
Back row, from left to right : Radio Operator Anthony P. Turco; the unidentified Navigator who replaced Seymour Eisenstat, severely wounded in the 14 March 1945 crash of B-24 # 42-51195; Co-Pilot Thomas J. Alexander; Pilot Robert E. Heichel, Gunner Philip E. Trimmer Jr.
Front row : Gunner Glen C. LeBleu; Gunner Rheudolph W. Cain; Gunner Lacy C. Gilliam and an unidentified man who replaced Engineer Kenneth S. Kingsland, who was killed in the crash of 42-51195 on 14 March 1945. (Photo courtesy of the Anthony Turco family)
Anthony P. Turco having won his Technical Sergeant stripes, May 1945 - England. The man pointing to his stripes is Sgt Philip E. Trimmer, Jr and at far right is S/Sgt Rheudolph W. Cain. (Photo courtesy of the Turco family)
Enlisted men of the Robert Heichel crew in Georgia, USA, 1944.
Standing, from left to right : S/Sgt Rheudolph W. Cain; Sgt Philip E. Trimmer Jr; Sgt Glen C. LeBleu and Sgt Lacy C. Gilliam. In front, left, S/Sgt Anthony P. Turco; right, Sgt Kenneth S. Kingsland (photo courtesy of the Turco family)
The plaque to the memory of Sgt Kenneth Kingsland. It reads :
TO THE MEMORY OF KENNETH KINGSLAND
Here on 14 March 1945, on return from a mission to Germany, the "BELLE RINGER", a B-24 Liberator bomber from the 854th Squadron of the 491st Bomber Group, made a forced landing. Its left wing hit the isolated house with the orange roof you can notice behind you. The aircraft ended its course in the field facing this chapel.
Sergent Kenneth Kingsland, from Connecticut and aged 27, lost his life. He is buried at the Ardennes American Cemetery in Neuville-en-Condroz.
* Ayez une pensée pour Kenneth qui est mort pour notre liberté
* Have a thought for Kenneth who died for our freedom.
(The captions of the photos in the left-hand column) :
The débris of the plane facing the chapel (in the background on the photo).
An engine from the left wing in front of the small isolated house at the edge of the Chaussée de Dinant (chapel in the background)
(The captions of the photos in the right-hand column) :
Sergent Kenneth Kingsland (engineer). He had three sisters and he was married.
On the left, the insignia of the 8th Air Force to which the aircraft belonged. To the right, that of the 491st Bombardment Group.
"Belle Ringer" was the name given to the plane by its crew.
The crew of the "Belle Ringer" (photo montage) [ NOTE : this is a composite photo, where the faces of two new members of the Heichel crew in the May 1945 photo have been replaced by those of Kenneth Kingsland and Navigator Seymour Eisenstat ]
Standing from left to right : Sergent Anthony Turco, Radio; Lieutenant Seymour Eisenstat, Navigator; Lieutenant Thomas Alexander, Co-Pilot; Lieutenant Robert Heichel, Pilot; Sergent Philip Trimmer, Gunner.
Kneeling, from left to right : Sergent Glen Lebleu, Gunner; Sergent Rheudolph Cain, Gunner; Sergent Lacy Gilliam, Gunner; Sergent Kenneth Kingsland, Engineer/Gunner.
(At the bottom of the plaque, in blue, a short text in English summarizing the events and Sgt Kingsland's fate)
Barely 18, Phil Trimmer enlisted in the Air Corps in April 1944. Trained as a gunner, he was sent overseas and assigned to the 491st Bomb Group / 854th Bomb Squadron in England. He was on board B-24 "Belle Ringer" # 42-51195 when it crash-landed in Belgium on return from the 14 March 1945 mission to bomb the marshalling yards at Gütersloh, Germany.
A doctor, he disappeared in a flight accident, together with a Roland Bev Kelley. They had flown on 1 January 1969 in Trimmer’s Piper Cub to play some golf in Florida. After they took off from the Pompano Airpark on the flight back on 5 January, the weather was very bad and radio contact was lost with the Vero Beach station at 12:12. No trace was ever found of the plane or the two men on board.
Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 491st Bomb Group
Thomas Alexander’s older brother, Marston Alexander Jr, born in 1917, died in October 1929. Thomas enlisted in the Air Corps and was trained as a pilot. Sent overseas, he was assigned to the 491st Bomb Group / 854th Bomb Squadron in England. He was on...
Military | Staff Sergeant | Gunner | 491st Bomb Group
Rheudolph Cain was the youngest of Anna S. Cain's three sons (the others : Walter and Hubert). He enlisted at the end of 1943 in the Air Corps after two years at Parkersburgh High School in West Virginia. Trained as a gunner, he was sent overseas and...
Military | Flight Officer | Navigator | 491st Bomb Group
Seymour Eisenstat grew up in Brooklyn and attended Brooklyn Technical High School before entering the service in 1943. He followed initial training at a mechanics school in Biloxi, Mississippi then, having had an opportunity to be an Aviation Cadet, he...
Military | Sergeant | Gunner | 491st Bomb Group
Enlisting in the Air Corps in August 1943, Lacy Gilliam trained as a gunner and was sent overseas and assigned to the 491st Bomb Group / 854th Bomb Squadron in England. He was on board B-24 "Belle Ringer" # 42-51195 when it crash-landed in Belgium on...
Military | Second Lieutenant | Pilot | 491st Bomb Group
Robert Heichel attended the Windber High School during four years (his description in the Class of 1942 Yearbook : “He hath a stern look, but a merry heart.”) Before his enlistment in the Air Corps in 1942, he helped to build B-24 Liberators at the...
Military | Sergeant | Flight Engineer / Top Turret Gunner | 491st Bomb Group
After finishing his studies, Kenneth Kingsland was employed as an assembler at the Pratt & Whitney United Aircraft Corporation's engine factory in East Hartford, Connecticut. Married to Dorothy, he decided to volunteer like younger men and enlisted in...
Military | Sergeant | Gunner | 491st Bomb Group
Barely 18, Glen LeBleu enlisted in the Air Corps in July 1943. Trained as a gunner, he was sent overseas and assigned to the 491st Bomb Group / 854th Bomb Squadron in England. He was on board B-24 "Belle Ringer" # 42-51195 when it crash-landed in...
Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio Operator | 491st Bomb Group
Enlisting in the Air Corps in January 1944, Anthony Turco trained as a Radio Operator / gunner. He was sent overseas and assigned to the 491st Bomb Group / 854th Bomb Squadron in England. He was on board B-24 "Belle Ringer" # 42-51195 when it crash...
Units served with
The 491st Bomb Group flew B-24 Liberators in bombing missions over northern France and Germany from June 1944 until April 1945. Missions over Germany included bombing the headquarters of the German General Staff at Zossen. The Group was awarded a DUC...
B-24 # 42-51195 "Belle Ringer" is listed as having been first in the 493rd Bomb Group at Debach. Transferred to the 491st Bomb Group / 852nd Bomb Squadron, it was hit by Flak on the way to the target, the Gütersloh marshalling yards in Germany on 14...
14 March 1945
"1,250 Heavies Strike Tanks, Gun Factories Near Hanover"
Military site : airfield
Built comparatively late during 1943-44 as an Eighth Air Force bomber base, North Pickenham was rather cramped as an airfield site so the main runway was shorter than typical. It had three concrete runways, 50 loop hardstandings and two dispersed T2...
||Richmond City, Virginia, United States
||18 March 1926
the son of Phil E. and Mattie L. Trimmer
||Fort George Meade, Maryland, United States
||13 April 1944
as a Private in the Air Corps
||near Florée, Belgium
||14 March 1945
survived the crash of B-24 # 42-51195 when it crash-landed in Belgium
||off the coast, East of Melbourne, Florida, United States
||5 January 1969
in an aviation accident, after take off from Pompano Airpark, Florida
||Richmond, Virginia, United States