Wednesday 2 July 2014

70yrs ago today

As you will see from this post  a memorial was erected to five USA pilots whose aircraft crashed into woodland 70 years ago today.  This morning as the sun shone brightly over this beautiful wood,  a short service was held to remember these men, with the pupils from the near by village school in attendance.  We sang the National Anthem and then The Stars and Stripes (rather hesitantly as the words and music were unfamiliar to us) but we managed with out any music to accompany us.

In the picture is the Vicar standing by the memorial and beside him is the mother of the boy who, when he was only 16 years of age, found a small piece of green painted aluminium sheet lying in the wood. Over the next few weeks his search continued and he found an identification bracelet bearing a set of wings on the front with the name and serial number on the reverse. Also recovered was a pilot's whistle and the remains of three wrist watches,  this was 35 years after the accident.  The memorial was dedicated on 2nd July 1998.

The pilots we remembered today were:
Capt Billy Bryan                   313th Fighter Squadron
2nd Lt Dale C. Francis        81st    Fighter Squadron
1st Lt Walter Hayes             81st    Fighter Squadron
Capt Norman H Nelson      313th  Fighter Squadron
2nd Lt Duran F. Quinn         313th  Fighter Squadron

They shall grow not old, as e that are left grow old,
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them


  1. What a kind story and a wonderful thing to do. We Americans do struggle over the words to the national anthem and the notes are very hard to hit for most singers but when we learn the meaning and why it was chosen we still get goose bumps when singing it. Thank You for this post God be with you.

    1. Carollyn it was a very simple but moving ceremony

  2. Thank you for sharing this bit of history. I'm sure it's a tale that would never make the history books, but a great reminder of the sacrifices of many individuals.

  3. I have been so intrigued by this little-known story and again thank you for bringing it to our attention. It is quite moving to read of this ceremony! What a wonderful

    The National Anthem is difficult enough to sing, but I don't think too many Americans are familiar with the words to Stars and Stripes! I believe you're referring to Sousa's stirring March, which is a wonderful accompaniment to fireworks! There is a singable melody line in the middle, but I don't know the words! It also gives a piccolo player a very proud solo moment!

    I certainly wish you a very Happy Birthday! I didn't realize that the 4th is your birthday as well as Margaret's! I hope
    you get to celebrate during the whole weekend!

    I love all your beaded bracelets! You've been very busy!

  4. Happy Birthday! I'm celebrating it by having a BBQ rib picnic with neighbors. Hope you're having a pleasant celebration.
    Thank you for sharing this story from our history. The ceremony, no matter how simple, has value. Karen in OR

  5. Thank you for caring and organising this. Thanks for involving the children. So they learn how horrible war is, and hopefully not start one in their lifetime.

  6. What a lovely story! Thank you so much for sharing - we frequently forget the real sacrifice freedom takes.


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