Channel: a plane shot down in his garden in 1944, he found the family of an American soldier

Channel: a plane shot down in his garden in 1944, he found the family of an American soldier
Channel: a plane shot down in his garden in 1944, he found the family of an American soldier

By

Victoria Allaume

Published on

May 25, 2024 at 11:46 a.m.

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It all started with objects from the Second World War, which Christophe Degouey, a resident of La Chapelle-en-Juger, former commune of Théreval, in Manche, found in his garden.

A machine gun, a piece of canvas, shards of windshield… And above all the plaque of an American soldier. “It was about fifteen years ago,” he remembers.

On the latter, we can see the name: Loy Mac Harvey.

Who was this soldier?

At the time, on the internet, we did not find as much information as today, and Christophe was unable to find out more about this soldier.

The years passed, and around three or four years ago, he met a resident of Brécey who also found objects from the D-Day period in his garden, and who came into contact with an American journalist to know more.

“His name is Jed Henry, his grandfather participated in operations in the English Channel, and over time he specialized in research related to missing soldiers,” explains Christophe.

It is thanks to him that the Manchois was able learn more about the story of Loy Mac Harvey.

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Loy Mac Harvey, died in a plane crash on July 25, 1944

“Thanks to US state documents, which have been declassified, we find the testimony of the co-pilot of the plane which crashed in the neighboring field. He explains that he was on board a B24 Liberator, and that he was part of a crew of 10 people,” explains Christophe.

According to the co-pilot, the plane was flying over Saint-Lô when it was bombedhe then crashed at La Chapelle-en-Juger, and the aviator parachuted mid-flight.

The outcome of this tragedy July 25, 1944is one survivor, 4 dead and 5 missing.

On the site: francecrashes39-45.net, we can read by entering the location of the crash and the reference of the plane, that Loy Mac Harvey was on board, as a machine gunner.

Come meet the family of the American soldier

After several visits to France, Jed contacts the family of the missing soldier and tells them about the tragedy that the latter experienced.

Christophe also spoke with them afterwards: “We made a video, with the little niece, the niece, and the nephew of the soldier who knew him, before the war. He was very emotional because he didn’t know how he died. »

If the latter two are too old to travel, the soldier’s great niece, her husband, and Jed, plan to come to the Channel for the commemorations of the 80th D-Day.

They will be received Saturday June 8, 2024 by Christophe, who will then take them at 3:30 p.m. to the Raymond Feuillet room in Théreval, where those who wish can come and exchange a few words with them, and other families of American soldiers, in the company of the Les Copains d’antan association.

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