We just recognized the 70th anniversary of D-Day.
There is a much smaller event to remember, but significant to Greenwood and its history. On that very same day a B-25 bomber, on a training flight out of the Army Air Field in Greenville ditched into the southeast end of Lake Greenwood. This B-25 was recovered from the lake more than 38 years later Aug. 5, 1983.
The recovery was largely organized and funded by Mat Self, one of the members of the philanthropic Self family in Greenwood. The B-25 was first transported to the Greenwood County Airport, but was later taken to Columbia with the intention of it eventually being restored and put into the State Museum. As of 2014, this has not been completed. It is being stored at Columbia’s Owens Downtown Airport. It was repaired enough to be put on display for the Doolittle Raiders’ 50th Anniversary in Columbia in 1992.
The B-25 was being piloted by then-student pilot Daniel Rossman, who lives in Roswell, Georgia. He was one of two students training with an instructor that day. The other student was Walter “Blackie” F. Wallace, and the instructor was John J. Jackson. Two other Army Air servicemen were on board, Preston S. Alexander and John J. Benna, reportedly listed as the flight engineer and gunner, respectively. According to Dan, with the exception of himself and the instructor, the others were listening on a radio to news coming out of the D-Day offensive occurring in Normandy, France. There are other stories surrounding this interesting and memorable incident.