During the Second World War a mission to drop supplies in the Turin area went catastrophically wrong. On the night of the 12th October 1944 20 B-24 Liberator heavy bombers of the South African Air Force’s 31 and 34 squadrons were deployed and only 14 returned to base.
One, KG874, crashed into the hillside about a mile above the village of Ostana, in the Upper Po Valley, killing all the crew. The community first mooted the idea of erecting a memorial and attempting to trace the relatives of the young airmen. Nick Madina, who has a home in Ostana, and researcher Giuseppe Barbaro, were asked to help locate as many relatives of KG874 as possible and invite them to attend a memorial ceremony. With the help of the internet and local radio the families of five of the eight aircrew were traced. On Sunday 1st October 2000 the community of Ostana erected a memorial at the site of the crash on the mountainside.
Commemorations have subsequently been held at the crash sites at Rora in 2001, Ala di Stura in 2002, Valprato Soana and Cantalupa in 2013, and the drop zone of KH158 near Neirone in 2011.
This site sets out to provide a comprehensive archive of information about the mission of 12th October 1944 and encapsulates all the known details of this mission . Much of the information is a record of the work initiated and carried out by Giuseppe Barbero, Nick Madina and others. Many family members have contributed personal photos and anecdotes.
The site is dedicated as a memorial to all the airmen who perished on the night of 12th October 1944.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We shall remember them