Flowers have been laid in remembrance of an American Second World War bomber crew killed when their aircraft crashed in Purbeck on D-Day.

The United States Army Air Force B-24H Liberator, named Misery Agent, stalled and exploded on impact in woodland east of Corfe Castle on June 6, 1944.

Part of the 34th Bomb Group, 7 Squadron, the bomber had taken off from RAF Mendlesham in the early hours of D-Day in support of the operation.

It carried a dozen 500lb bombs and was one of 24 aircraft dispatched to bomb Caen, to aid the Allied effort.

However, upon reaching the French city thick cloud cover prevented them from releasing their bombs, so they were ordered to return back to Suffolk.

Swanage historian Bob Bunyar laid flowers at the crash site on Thursday, along with a card featuring the names of all nine aircrew that died.

He said: "Due to the large scale military operations taking place on D-Day, aircraft could not turn round and head back on the same course on which they flew out.

"A large clockwise circle system was in operation which meant that from the target area they had to head west before turning back for the English coast as part of this circle.

"In the case of the returning Misery Agent the aircraft made landfall over Portland and then set a course north eastwards for RAF Mendlesham.

"However, as it flew on a course over Norden Farm and the site of what is today Swanage Railway’s Norden station, the aircraft rain out of fuel."

The pilot attempted to land but the bomber crashed and its bomb load exploded.

Mr Bunyar said: "The explosion was clearly heard in Corfe Castle and Swanage, and no crew members survived the impact or resultant fireball.

"The remains of the crew were later recovered from the crash site and taken to a nearby farm building where the task of trying to identify them was undertaken.

"Subsequently five of the crew were buried at the Cambridge American Cemetery whilst the four others were taken back to the United States for burial."

Those killed were the pilot, Second lieutenant Herman Doell, from New Jersey; co-pilot Second lieutenant Lewis Duncan, from Texas; navigator/bombadier Robert Swarthout, from Detroit; flight engineer William Curtin, from California; nose gunner Vincent Drozdek, from Illinois; radio operator Alvin Rainey, from Los Angeles; ball turret gunner Jerome Helget, from Milwaukee; waist gunner William Price, from Oklahoma and tail gunner Arthur Stancati, from New Jersey.