75th Memorial For Servicemen Killed In 1942 Bomber Crash

One of the first North American B-25s built. (U.S. Air Force photo)
One of the first North American B-25s built. (Photo: U.S. Air Force)

The Town of North Hempstead is holding a memorial service on Sunday, January 8, at 11 a.m., to mark the 75th anniversary of the crash of a North American B-25A Bomber on January 1, 1942, which claimed the lives of five heroic servicemen. When one of the plane’s engines failed within minutes of take-off from Mitchel Field, the pilot veered the plane away from homes in New Hyde Park and into a sandpit. The plane, which was heavily laden with bombs, exploded on impact killing all five young servicemen aboard. The pilot, Charles Van Eewen, was later awarded a posthumous Distinguished Service Medal for avoiding hitting houses during the crash.

The town will be holding an indoor ceremony at Michael J. Tully Park, 1801 Evergreen Ave., New Hyde Park, 11040, as well as rededicating the monument outside the park which honors the five army fliers. Local veterans will pay tribute with a gun salute and the laying of a wreath in memoriam. 

Participants include North Hempstead Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth and the town board, Albertson VFW, Williston Park American Legion, Garden City Park VFW, Village of NHP VFW, New Hyde Park American Legion 1089 and representatives from American Airpower Museum.  

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