668th BS Patch

416th Bombardment Group (L)

2Lt. Westmoreland NMI Babbage

Bombardier/Navigator,  O-766177

Killed In Action - Mar 21, 1945

668th Bombardment Squadron (L)


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B/N Wings        Missing Man        Purple Heart

      Born: 1922, Newton, Middlesex County, Massachusetts

Entered Military Service: Date: 9-Mar-1943 At: Santa Ana, CA From: Orange County, California
NARA Enlistment Record: Enlisted Serial # 19162454

Buried: Netherlands American Cemetery, Margraten, Netherlands, Plot C Row 14 Grave 12

On-line Memorials:
National World War II Registry     Overseas American Cemeteries
American Battle Monuments Commission
Find-A-Grave (1)     Find-A-Grave (2)
Fields of Honor Database

Pilot's Mission: Combat

Nature of Accident: Mid air collision

Cause of Accident: Pilot error, restricted visibility, and other personnel error.

Coming back over friendly territory about 25 miles northeast of St. Trond, Captain Andersen, leading the second flight of the first box, was attempting to regain his position in the first box. He slid his plane over the plane flown by Captain Rooney and chewed off its tail. The two planes collided in mid-air and fell to the ground and burned. Lt Kirk, B-N in Capt Rooney's plane, bailed out safely with only minor injuries. All the others were killed in the crash, which happened without warning. Captain Rooney was completing his 65th mission when the accident occurred. The reason for the crash is unknown. Flying with Captain Andersen were Lt W. Babbage, Lt. L.J. Roman, and S/Sgt S.L. Heitell. Captain Rooney had Capt C.C. Slaughter of the Infantry and Sgt. R.J. Kamischke flying with him.
(416th BG History 1945)

See also AAR 45-3-21-517 / MACR 15911 and Mission # 246

Photos and Documents
1940 US Census
Thursday, April 5, 1945, Evening Star (Washington (DC), District of Columbia), Page 19
Headstone Inscription and Interment Record
Courtesy Ron Wintjens, taken 4-May-2016 during The Faces of Margraten tribute
Headstone Memorial
Rosters Of WW II Dead
WW II Army and Army Air Force Casualty List
National World War II Memorial Registry
National World War II Memorial Registry

Source information can be viewed at WWII Military Service Fatalities Sources

"Goin' Home" courtesy of the U.S. Air Force Band