Edward J BotteMilitary
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Units served with
|Hartford, Connecticut||26 December 1941|
|A-5 Chipelle Airfield, France||24 July 1944||It looked like July 24-Monday-was the day. Pilots were briefed and in their planes waiting to take off shortly after noon, wondering about the nine-tenths overcast, and watching as heavy bombers, mostly invisible, droned by overhead. The sound of engines seemed to be moving above us from St. Lo back northeast toward England. 37 A sudden series of explosions, like heavy-sounding machine gun bursts, sent everyone scurrying for foxholes. Colonel McColpin hopped out of the "Short Squirt" and jumped into a foxhole to find Lt. Col. Johnson, deputy group commander, and Staff Sgt. John Sulzynski, "Short Squirts'' crew chief, already there. Near the officers' mess and the Group Headquarters tents, through part of the 508th Squadron dispersal area, five distinct fires were burning fiercely; white phosphorous bombs slung on our planes for the mission were going off in some of the revetments, enveloping the area in stifling white smoke. Machinegun ammunition and fragmentation bombs on burning P-47's started popping, throwing bullets and jagged steel fragments in all directions. Men appeared in helmets, gas masks, and carbines, all looking up expecting another attack. Wounded men began calling, moaning and screaming; ambulances from the Group and squadron dispensaries arrived, followed by crowds of shaken enlisted men, pilots, and ground officers, emerging cautiously from foxholes, slit-trenches and hedgerows. Count Colwell's plane was damaged; Bill Kerr was slightly wounded when a steel fragment hit him, while sitting in the cockpit. Jack Conner jumped out when his ship caught fire, saw flames covering Chuck Viccellio's plane, pinning Vic inside. With gasoline tanks flaring up suddenly, bombs bursting and machine guns still firing, Jack hauled Vic out of the cockpit and away to safety, then returned to help wounded armorers and mechanics. Al Yetter and Carmen Moreali picked up one seriously wounded man and carried him away from under the wing of his plane where he had fallen, just before the aircraft exploded. Staff Sgt. Edward Botte and Cpl. Robert Hopkins were killed instantly, and Chuck Viccellio and Pfc. Hickman died of injuries. Fourteen others were injured, three planes were totally destroyed and eight damaged.|
|Plot H Row 20 Grave 11 Normandy American Cemetery Colleville-sur-Mer, France|
|New Haven, Connecticut|
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