APRIL 7th, 1943 was both an exciting and anxious day in Clonakilty. Shortly before lunchtime that Wednesday, people looked skywards on hearing a loud humming noise and saw a plane circling the town a few times, before it came to land at White’s Marsh, on the Inchydoney Road.
The B17 United States bomber, with 11 humans and one monkey passenger on board, had been blown off course and apparently had only a few minutes of fuel left when it came to land. ‘Taint a Bird,’ her crew and Tojo the monkey have gone down in local folklore since.
Now, 75 years later, Dúchas Clonakilty Heritage has organised a public lecture in which the details of the landing, the plane, the crew and what happened to them immediately after their forced landing in Clonakilty, and in the years after, will be recalled. The lecture will be held next Thursday, April 5th, at 8pm at O’Donovan’s Hotel (please note change of venue).
The crew was ‘detained’ at the hotel in 1943 and Tojo, their monkey, died during the stay and was buried in the back garden of the hotel – where the hall in which the lecture will be held now stands.
Writer, Tina Pisco will deliver the lecture, backed up by slides and photos. She is an authority on the events of April 7th, 1943, and visited some of the crew members 40 years later in the US, and wrote a novel called ‘Only a Paper Moon’ about 20 years ago, based on the events of the ‘Taint a Bird’ landing.
She was also responsible for having Guy Tice, the youngest of the crew members, make a return trip to Clonakilty in the mid-1990s.