B17 Crash - 75th Anniversary
A tragic accident took the lives of eleven young airmen from the USA on 11th October 1944; all those were battle hardened and on their second tour. Operations over Germany had been cancelled because of 10/10ths cloud over the target, strong winds and locally poor visibility due to heavy rain - but the US Air Force were still intent on keeping their men sharp, and had scheduled training flights. In severe turbulence and layers of cloud at several altitudes, just before one of their turning points at Silverstone, three aircraft in their group collided, one managed to limp home to Snetterton, Norfolk but the other two disintegrated, their wreckage being scattered over the fields around Woodend, near Blakesley. This is their memorial...
The images above show the Memorial on the south west side of Woodend NN12 8RZ, which looks out onto the field where most of the wreckage was found. The altar was set-up for the Sunday 6th October 2019 75th anniversary service. The event was well attended, with representatives from the Royal British Legion and local villagers. The RBL's County Chairman lead the parade and members of RBL Wappenham, Towcester, Greens Norton, the Riders and Byfield & District Branches were in attendance.
Guest of Honour was Wing Commander Philip Goodall, who had enjoyed a secondment to the US Air Force during his 37-year service. Prayers were conducted by Rev. Tim who covers several parishes, including Blakesley, which encompasses Woodend. America was represented by a re-enactment group from Towcester, who also brought along their vintage vehicles, although we are not quite sure where the Morris 8 fitted-in.