The symbiotique relationship between humans & plants
“Nature is pitiless; she never withdraws her flowers, her music, her fragrance and her sunlight, from before human cruelty or suffering. She overwhelms man by the contrast between divine beauty and social hideousness.”
― Victor Hugo
2nd Lt. Jerome Zierlein
On the 25th of August, 1944, while Paris was celebrating its Liberation, 23 pilots of P38 "Lightning", belonging to the 428th and 429th Squadron of the 474th Fighter Group, 9th Air Force, took off from their base in Neuilly-la-Foret (Calvados).
Their mission: to attack German airfields in the area of Laon andReims.
Intercepted above the Oise department by a force of thirty German fighters Messerschmitt-109 and Focke-Wulf-190 of JG76 and JG26 in the triangle Creil-Clermont-Beauvais, a dogfight of a period of twenty minutes ensued. In spite of their numerical superiority many German fighters were lost.
For the 474th Fighter Group, eleven P-38 "Lightning" were shot down during this Friday 25th August mission which become, with a loss rate of around 50%, Black Friday.
Among these pilots, seven managed to get out of their aircraft. 2nd Lts Capron,Jarvis and Leahy were collected and hidden by the population. 2nd Lt. Spiker andKoch and 1st Lt. Patterson and Austin were captured after landing by parachute.These two managed to escape afterwards. Capt Holcomb, 1st Lt Stone, 2nd Lts.Packard and Zierlein were killed.
According to witnesses, in order to avoid crashing into the village of Cramoisy 2ndLt. Zierlein managed to straighten out his powerless aircraft before baling out. Being at too low an altitude, his parachute did not have time to open and the body of the young 23-year old Texan pilot was found near the Bois de la Garenne, not far from the place where his plane crashed