Historic Markers Across Alabama

The "Katy-Did" Crash

Marker ID:  
Location: near mile marker 19 on AL Hwy 157, Falkville, AL
County: Morgan
Coordinates: N 34° 19.467    W 087° 00.080
  34.32445    -87.00133333
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WMNAAH


Eight U.S. Army Air Corps officers and enlisted men were killed one-fourth mile east of here near the Roundtop Community on Sunday, April 9, 1944, at 2:20 p.m. when their B-26C Martin Marauder bomber, nicknamed the"Katy-Did”, crashed nose-down, at full throttle, and exploded. The warplane was on an official flight from Hunter Army Airfield in Savannah, Georgia to Memphis, Tennessee when it encountered a severe thunderstorm. Witnesses reported that the plane reappeared from the heavy storm clouds upside down before crashing.

The victims were: Col. Lucius B. Manning, base commander, Hunter Army Airfield, Savannah, Georgia; Capt. Howard L. Hardy, pilot, La Harpe, Kansas; Capt. Arthur J. Gratis, co-pilot, Seattle, Washington; Sgt. John W. Haney, engineer, Buffalo, New York; Pvt. Matthew J. Georghegan, mechanic, Bronx, New York; Pvt. John H. Bailey, radio man, Trenton, New Jersey; Sg. James R. smith, St. Maire, Idaho; 1st Lt. Hugh Williams, Jr., Megehee, Arkansas.

Alabama Tourism Department 2014

End of The "Katy-Did" Crash