Lt Hecox crew arrived in England on 12th, May 1943, « SNAFU » was the name of their bomber B.17 serial 42-29476 and they had flown five missions. On 29th May, a beautiful sunny Saturday of spring, the target was a German naval storage at Rennes. It was an important day for the VIII° Air Force which dispatched 200+ bombers over St Nazaire and La Pallice.
72 B.17 of 94th, 95th and 96th Bomber Group flew at 25.000 feet towards the their target (Rennes). SNAFU belong to the 94th Bomber Group, 410th Bomber Squadron. Captain « Rod » Rawlinson was the military officer in command of this group. With the Hecox crew was an eleventh man, Major Barthold as observer. The wave of bombers was escorted by 72 P.47 Thunderbolts and 48 Spitfires only to the French coast.

A soon as they were over the ennemy territory, they were attacked by the fighters of the Luftwaffe. At 1630 hrs (G.M.T.), SNAFU was under attack and was hit… The radio operator Sgt Herman Philbeck will remember all this life the last minutes of the death of his friends, his oxygen mask in fire, his ejection of the breaking downing B.17. Herman recovered from his unconsciousness and pulled outhis parachute. He was made PoW. The rest of the crew was not so fortunate.

You will find down here the history of this tragedy which, from Rennes to our community area, has left it's mark in many people's mind. it is our wish that such narrations could prevent it to happen again. Our slogan is "The memory for peace", for all civilian and military victims, the duty of memory is essential.

All the pictures from the may 29 2003
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