Lt. Phil C. Dana

My uncle Phil,flew a B-24. He was the pilot. He was killed in England returning from a bombing run. He was in the 445 Group, 702 squadron. He was given Posthumously the Purple Heart, Distinguished Flying Cross with 2 oak leaf clusters, and the Air Medal. There were four men that he was credited with saving their lives. Merle J. Mentel, Robert Diffenbacher, Edward Ringle and Walter Russell. I would love to hear their stories about him to find out more about him. He died April 1, 1944. What I do know is that he was on a run to Germany. He crossed the French coast and he had an engine hit by flak. They went ahead and delivered his bombs and encountered more flak on the way back. But another engine was put out of operation. When this occurred, he left formation and came back to the field. He arrived and was given landing instructions. With only 2 engines, one on either side, he entered the traffic pattern. When he was in the middle of the turn from base leg to the approach the out board engines failed completely (probably due to being out of gas) and the plane started falling rapidly on it's side to the ground. He was able to straighten it up, but was unable to maneuver out of the way of a tree, which caught the drooping wing and plunged the plane to the earth. His last effort was to hit the electrical switches, which saved the plane from exploding and the four men that survived the crash. I have a picture of the four men and the crash site. If any one knows any more about this I would be ever so grateful to here more about him.

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