Monday, May 6, 2013

Honoring the Memory of Gen. Andrews and the crew of Hot Stuff

We were honored to be a part of a ceremony organized by a group of private American and Icelandic citizens to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the crash of the B-24D “Hot Stuff” on December 3, 1943 at Mt. Fagradalsfjall near Grindavik. The crash took the lives of Lt. Gen Frank M. Andrews and 13 other servicemen. The plane was on its way to the United States to raise funds for the war effort and to be honored for having been the first aircraft to complete 25 missions in World War II.

At the time, General Andrews was the U.S. Commander of Operations in the European Theater, and some say that he was on his way to becoming the Supreme Allied Commander. The ceremony was as solemn as it was uplifting. We were grateful for the participation of President Grimsson, the Bishop of Reykjavik, Keilir, the choir of the Keflavík church, and the presence of family members of some of the Hot Stuff crew. This event epitomized the power of the Icelandic-American partnership as three private individuals, Jim Lux from the United States, and the brothers Ólafur and Þorsteinn Martinsson from Iceland worked together to keep alive the memory of the men who gave their lives so that we can enjoy our freedom today.