On 12 July 1944 a midair collission between two B-17 bombers of the 385th Bomb Group happened over the village of Perlé. The reasons for this accident are still unknown. 18 airmen of the US Air Force lost their lives. Two members of the two crews survived by parachuting for safety.
German policeman captured one of the two survivors, Sgt. Larry Atiyeh, Sgt. Robert McPherson crossed the Belgian Border and was rescued by members of the Belgian Maquis.
On November 9 1944 another B-17 crashed near Perlé. 1./Lt. Lewis C. Williams (Pilot) died in this crash with his B-17 "Boomerang", assigned to the 349th Squadron of the 100th Bomb Group.
The Memorial Monument in front of the church of Perlé and the 385th Bomb Group Memorial Museum will remember these young US airmen, the US Air Force and all victims of W.W. II.
The Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress is a four engine heavy bomber aircraft developed in the 1930's for the United States Air Corps (USAAC). The B-17 was primarly employed by the United States Army Airforces (USAAF) in the daylight precision strategic bombing campaign of W.W. II against German industrial and military targets. A US B-17 Flying Fortress carried about 10 airmen (pilots, bombardiers, radio operator, gunners).