Return To Halesworth
On March 29th 1944 one of the targets for the "Mighty Eighth" was a V weapon site at Watten in Northern France. B-24 Liberators of the 93rd BG based at Hardwick took off and began to assemble in the crowded sky over Suffolk.
At 10.45am two B24's,42-110033 piloted by Lt Robert McFetrick and 41-28590 with Lt Chester Mackinster at the controls collided. The wreckage fell in three main sections onto the Henham Park Estate, 4 miles east of the USAAF base at Halesworth,the home of the 56th FG "Zemkes Wolfpack".
Firefighters from the 33rd Service Group, the 2010th Engineers and the 15th Station Complement Squadron were dispatched from Halesworth to assist, along with men and women from the British Civil Defence, Police and other emergency services. Some of the 56th Fighter Group personnel not involved in that days mission also travelled the short distance to the crash site to assist.
One of these members of the "Wolfpack" was Cpt Stanley Morrill of the 62nd Fighter Squadron. An "Ace" with 9 confirmed victories.
Stan was born on June 16th 1916 in Cambridge MA, and was posted to the 56th Fighter Group at Halesworth in August 1943. Allocated to the 62nd FS Stan was billeted in the abandoned Hightrees farmhouse known as Schillings Acres. After the initial extra training that every new member of the 56th received, he soon saw action and it didn't take long for Stan to score his first kill. An Me109 fell to the guns of his Thunderbolt on November 26th. Morrill was a popular member of the squadron known to everyone as "Fats". A nickname which he carried on his P-47C 41-6387 above the cowling artwork of "Joe Btfsplk", one of the characters from the comic strip "Lil Abner". The starboard side of LM-F depicted a spectre and the name "Debt Collector".
Shortly after the personnel from Halesworth arrived at the crash scene, and with rescue attempts in full swing disaster struck when the bomb load from one of B-24's exploded. Casualties were heavy, especially amongst the 2010th Engineers and the 15th Station Complement Squadron, with only three crew members of the B-24s surviving.. Six men from AAF Station 365 Halesworth perished in the explosion. One of the men killed was Stan Morrill. He was 27 years old. In due time Stan's body was repatriated and he now rests in the cemetery at Williamantic.CT.