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By Mar-Vic Cagurangan

SAIPAN, CNMI (Marianas Variety, May 9) - Government officials will lead the unveiling of a granite monument dedicated to the 11 crewmen, who perished when the B-29 bomber plane exploded immediately after taking off exactly 60 years ago tomorrow, event organizer Tony Ramirez said yesterday.

The dedication memorial ceremony, spearheaded by the Governor’s office and the Department of Parks and Recreation, will be held at the governor’s complex in Adelup at 5:30 p.m. tomorrow, which marks the 60th anniversary of the Haltemen Crew’s ill fate.

Ramirez said the monument was built near the purported crash site. Nine family members and friends of the Halteman crew, led by William Willis, son of one of the crewmembers, will grace the ceremony.

Ramirez said, "The monument, installed two weeks ago on eastern side of Adelup overlooking the Philippine Sea and the Pacific Ocean, was designed by Our Lady of Peace, which also contributed to the cost of the project."

He said the project was initiated by Willis, who after a long research successfully traced the history of his ill-fated father, 2nd Lieutenant William Arnett, who was among those lost as sea.

Only the body of 2nd Lieutenant Clemence Halteman Jr. was recovered after the tragedy.

The monument will be dedicated to Halteman, Arnett F/O William Isaac, 2nd Lieutenant, Donald Yant, Captain Jack Pankoff, Tsgt. John Robinson, Sergeant. Irvin Liefer. Sergeant George Loverlock, Cp. Wedward Hennebury Jr., Corporal William Raper, and Corporal Abraham Becker.

Ramirez said the monument is made up of materials taken from historical sites of Guam, including rocks taken from the ocean, surrounding the battle sites of Guam.

Its base has a countless number of stones representing the people who died during the war. Also attached to the base are coals from the ocean, where the B-29 crewmen’s bodies lie in peace. It is also mixed with volcanic rocks taken from the purported landing site of Magellan in Umatac.

May 10, 2005

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