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Shot down then buried in an avalanche
28 Feb 1944 | Bagneres de Bigorre, france
On 7 January 1944, Lt. Francis Thackray was an observer aboard a B-24 bomber on its way back from a bombing run to Ludwigshafen, Germany when the plane was shot down over southwestern France. After parachuting safely to the ground, Lt. Thackray and 5 others from the plane made contact with and were sheltered by the French resistance.
On 19 Feb 1944 the airmen, accompanied by 4 French civilians started across the Pyrenees Mountains toward Spain.
On 28 Feb 1944, the group was caught in an avalanche which killed Lt. Thackray and the 4 French civilians.
The remaining members of the party were lost for 3 days in a snowstorm and finally staggered into a French village only to be handed over to the Germans and sent to prisoner of war camps.
The Missing Air Crew Report attached to this page includes more details of the ill-fated trip.