BAKERS CREEK TRAGEDY 75TH ANNIVERSARY COMMEMORATION; Congressional Record Vol. 164, No. 98
(Extensions of Remarks - June 13, 2018)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E835]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




          BAKERS CREEK TRAGEDY 75TH ANNIVERSARY COMMEMORATION

                                 ______
                                 

                            HON. SCOTT PERRY

                            of pennsylvania

                    in the house of representatives

                        Wednesday, June 13, 2018

  Mr. PERRY. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to commemorate the 75th 
Anniversary of the Bakers Creek Air Crash on June 14, 1943, in which 
forty U.S. Army Air Corps Service Members tragically perished at Bakers 
Creek, Queensland, Australia during World War II.
  These deaths were the result of the crash of a B-17C Flying Fortress, 
which proved to be the worst aviation disaster of the Southwest Pacific 
War. More men died on that plane from Pennsylvania (6) than from any 
other State. The PA Fallen were: Pvt James E. Finney/Erie; T/Sgt Alfred 
H. Frezza/Altoona; Sgt Donald B. Kyper/Huntingdon; Pfc Frank S. Penska/
Moscow; Sgt Anthony Rudnick/Philadelphia; and Cpl Raymond H. Smith/Oil 
City.
  Only since passing the FY06 National Defense Authorization Act 
(Public Law 109-163) has Congress officially recognized this previously 
classified wartime accident. Previously, most of the crash victims' 
Families were left in the dark about the truth of their loved ones' 
deaths in World War II.
  A dozen years ago, many of my colleagues actively supported efforts 
to place a memorial in Arlington. Moreover, in June 2008, the 
Pennsylvania Legislature passed a resolution designating June 14th as 
``Bakers Creek Memorial Day.''
  I understand that Colonel Kimberly A. Peeples, Garrison Commander, 
Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, the Honorable Joe Hockey, Australian 
Ambassador to the United States, and U.S. Fifth Air Force Commander, 
General Ralph E. Eberhart, USAF Ret will place a wreath at the Bakers 
Creek Memorial to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the crash.
  I applaud the Service Members at JBM-HH and members of the Bakers 
Creek Memorial Association for their continued efforts to help bring 
closure to the casualty Families with annual public remembrance 
ceremonies for the forty American Servicemen who perished at Bakers 
Creek in Australia during World War II.

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