There is now a NEW MEMORIAL at Cervione, Corsica recently dedicated to men of the 340th
Bombardment Group stationed at Alesani, Corsica. The monument and the website are in French but there is a nice photograph on the website showing the location of the 35th Station Hospital (Mar 1 to Sept 10, 1944),
the 40th Station Hospital Detachment (Oct 14, 1944 to Apr 14, 1945), the 7th Medical Depot Company (May 1 to June 1, 1944), the 684th
Quartermaster Base Depot (Jun 1 to Mar 21, 1944) and the 80th Medical Base Depot Company (Mar 21, 1944 to Apr 10, 1945) at Cervione.
Dominique Taddei explains: "The 19th of March (2005) the town of Cervione has celebrated the 60th anniversary of your presence in Corsica, especially for the 340th BG at Alesan.
On their website they have told of the
loss of twentythree airmen from the 16th to the 20th of March 1945. They also told of the German air raid that occured on the 13th of May 1944.
I am sure that all the men of the 340th BG will remember the town of Cervione. I am sure that they
will recall the 1944 Polish Priest of Cervione talking Polish with Edward Dombrowski called "Dombo" by the people of Cervioni.
The lost crew members are written in Corsican."
Native Corsican Dominique Taddei also described to me the other two older
monuments that are dedicated to USAAF groups stationed on Corsica:
"I was 6 when your father was in Corsica. I still recall the dark and silver B-25
silhouettes. My eldest sister was 8 and she was counting the B-25 coming back from a mission
combat...there were 17 airfields on the Island and most of them were occupied by the US Army
Air Corps. To thank these American men we have raised two memorial tablets- one at the
Ghisonaccia- Gare airfield and the second one in the college hall of Folelli. The raising
of this slab (below) has been organized and made by
my friends and I. We have had the great chance to have with us 19 American citizens
(former 57th BW airmen, wives and children). The emotion was intense and everybody enjoyed
this precious moment. Your father don't have to thank me, al contrario, we Corsicans must
thank him for what he has done for us in WWII. I imagined and then drew and paid for the
slab with the help of some local VIPs. I have spent so many nights to imagine how I had
to figure the slab that such creation has been the best thing I have made in my life."
I asked Dominique Taddei why he chose the serial number 43-27575 for the memorial plaque. This was his reply:
"Good question, the first man who helped me in my research was Mr Frank B Dean,
a 380th BS 310th BG Crew Chief at Ghisonaccia-Gare, still alive and living at Warner Robins Georgia.
When, in 1996, I received his first letters and photos, the first full photo I got from him was the
SKUNK CHASER 327575 on the tail. In 1997, deciding to raise a Memorial tablet which shape was a B-25
tail fin rudder, I was sure to do not make a mistake in using this photo, which was in 1996 the only
one I got. Another practical detail was that a 310th tail had more surface or space to be able to
inscribe the BG and FG on service in Corsica, just two stripes instead of huge numbers like in the
321st and the 340th BG. In a certain way a kind of board. Furthermore the colors were appropriated
to the island of Corsica, as the 380th BS had the yellow and blue stripes I thought of the yellow
for the Corsican sun and the blue for the sea and the sky. For all these Men who brought us freedom
and peace it was a symbol."
Dominique's book, aptly named "U.S.S. Corsica",
is a very interesting pictorial history of the many allied airfields and aircraft on the island
of Corsica in 1944-5. This remarkable photograph probably taken from a P-38 shows
a southerly view of the Corsican coast from the airfield at Borgo towards the airfields of
Poretta, Serraggia and Alto in the distance. This picture inspired Dominique to name his book
"U.S.S. Corsica." He imagined the island of Corsica to be one giant aircraft carrier.
"The photo has been taken by a pilot of the U.S. 23rd Photo Recon based at Borgo with the French 2/33
Photo Recon where Antoine de Saint Exupery was a pilot. The photo has been taken mid August 1944 and
Saint Ex was MIA the 31st of July. Mr. Harry Oakley, 23rd CO offered me the photo."
Here is another remarkable photograph from 23rd CO Harry Oakley
showing many of the aircraft including some B-17s on the Borgo Airfield around the time of D-Day
Southern France- August 15, 1944.
The ceremony took place on June 21st, 1997 at Ghisonaccia-Gare Air Field. The men in charge
of the tablet were the association "La Bandera", The Ghisonaccia-Gare Flying Club Staff.
On March 6th, 1998, 43 former 57th Fighter Group men and their families were present at
Folelli, Corsica for the unveiling of this plaque. The master of ceremonies was Jean
Michel Casanova. The French "LaFayette" squadron and the 64th (Black Scorpions),
65th (Fighting Cocks) and 66th (Exterminators) fighter squadrons of the 57th fighter group
were stationed at Alto, Corsica in 1944. They all flew the P-47
These plaques are from the USAF Museum Memorial Park at the Wright-Patterson Air Force
Base in Dayton, Ohio.
On the left is the monument to the Tuskegee Airmen at the USAF Memorial Park and on the
right is the plan for the future USAF Memorial to be built in Washington, D.C.
Additional remarks from Dominique Taddei: "In my village Migliacciaru,
there were plenty of black American soldiers, they were from the 41st Engineers. They taught
to my eldest bodies to play baseball. The men in the camps, especially the flying crews,
had no time to get in touch with the population, the only white men were the representative
of the 57th Bomb Wing headquarter based at Migliacciaru, my village. General Knapp was living
in my uncle's house."
The 57th Bomb Wing Memorial Monument and the 489th Bombardment Squadron Plaque are also at
the USAF Museum Memorial Park.