Event held in Ramsholt to remember crew of American bomber which crashed over 70 years ago

Attendees gathered for the service. Picture: POLLY DURRANT

Attendees gathered for the service. Picture: POLLY DURRANT - Credit: Archant

A memorial has been held to mark the 73rd anniversary of an American plane which crashed in the Deben.

The Little Davy 2 crashed in February 1945. Picture: POLLY DURRANT

The Little Davy 2 crashed in February 1945. Picture: POLLY DURRANT - Credit: Archant

The bomber, known as the Little Davey II, was a B-17 Flying Fortress on its way to Nuremburg in Germany when it caught fire and had to be ditched in the river only minutes after it took off from Debach.

The crash happened just outside the Ramsholt Arms on February 20 1945 at the quay in Ramsholt.

Only two of the planes crew, the pilot, Frederick Stindt and the flight engineer, Jewel Ken Haynes survived the crash after being saved by two local men. One of those men was Arthur Reeve, who was on leave from the RAF himself at the time.

His second cousin, Jeff Coleman came down to the memorial event to take part in the occasion.

Jeff Coleman with the wreath before the service. Picture: POLLY DURRANT

Jeff Coleman with the wreath before the service. Picture: POLLY DURRANT - Credit: Archant


You may also want to watch:


For Mr Coleman the journey into his relative’s past has been long and intriguing if a little unexpected.

Sadly Arthur died in his 80s without sharing his involvement in the day’s events with Mr Coleman.

Most Read

It was only after Arthur’s wife passed away that Mr Coleman found the account, written by Arthur himself, which detailed what had happened on that fateful day.

Following the information Mr Coleman set about finding out more about the crash online and managed to get in touch with some of the families of the American airmen through online forums.

Learning of their relatives exact fate was news to some of the families despite the passage of time: “They knew they had been killed in action but most of them did not know what happened,” said Mr Coleman.

Having looked into the incident so deeply Mr Coleman feels a sense of completion in helping to finish the story for his second cousin: “Arthur didn’t know what happened to them.

“He left them on the quay side and they were taken away.”

As part of the memorial event members of the local community gathered together at the quay with a service of remembrance being held by the Rev Michael Hatchett.

“It was really lovely,” said Polly Durrant, one of the owners of the Ramsholt Arms.

Following the service, a wreath of flowers, bearing the name of the crashed aircraft, was thrown into the quay.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus