Royal Air Force Air Cadets have commemorated the 75th anniversary of a World War Two American B-17 bomber that crashed in Sheffield. Both United States Air Force and Royal Air Force aircraft took part in a flypast which was broadcast live on BBC Breakfast.
The ceremony was organised after a social media campaign by BBC presenter Dan Walker, who met Tony Foulds, an eyewitness to the crash in 1944, by chance as he was maintaining the memorial. Tony has been the guardian of the memorial in Endcliffe park for nearly 75 years.
The aircraft known as “Mi Amigo” was returning from a bombing raid when it was badly damaged by enemy action over Denmark. Tony was eight years old at and playing with other school children in Endcliffe park as the aircraft attempted a forced landing. The crew avoided the school children and crashed into the hill behind killing all ten of the crew. The pilot Lt John Kriegshauser was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his actions.
Nearly 70 Cadets and Staff from across South & West Yorkshire Wing attended the ceremony and formed a guard of honour for Tony, veterans and various local dignitaries.
A Cadet sargeant who is part of 366 (King Ecgbert) Squadron Royal Air Force Air Cadets said:
“Today was a truly memorable day which forms a part of Sheffield's history.
" It was fantastic to welcome those from the United States to pay tribute to the remarkable aircrew who sacrificed their lives during World War Two.
"Seeing the flypast of military aircraft was a fitting tribute to those who died and I’m incredibly proud to have taken part.”
Wing Commander Brian Daniel who leads the Royal Air Force Air Cadets in South and West Yorkshire said:
“It was fantastic to see all our young people turning up to honour those who we owe a great debt of gratitude to.
"The Cadets who all looked exceedingly smart did both ourselves and our parent organisation, the Royal Air Force proud.”