Redlingfield: Flying Fortress crew who died in Second World War crash remembered in service
- Credit: Contributed
The memory of 10 men who lost their lives when their American bomber crashed into a Suffolk farmhouse during the Second World War has been commemorated.
On November 19, 1943, a B-17 Flying Fortress bomber came down during takeoff in Redlingfield, near Eye. Now, 70 years later, some of the relatives of the crew have travelled to Suffolk for a memorial service to honour the young men who died.
Mike Ager, chairman of Redlingfield Parish Meeting, said: “It was a lovely bright, crisp and sunny November morning, the ceremony was simple but heartfelt.
“We were very pleased to be able to welcome the co-pilot’s family to the ceremony, which was simple but dignified.
“These young men were so young and gave everything; it was good to remember them and to thank them.”
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Marcia Moyer, the niece of co-pilot 2nd Lieutenant Warren Mansfield Strawn, travelled from Missouri with her brother and his wife for the ceremony. The family, along with Ann Stebbings – who was a young girl in the farmhouse at Green Farm when it was destroyed by the crash – laid a wreath during the service. The bomber, part of the USA’s 95th Bomb Group, was about to head to Germany on a mission when it crashed.
Mr Ager and his wife Janet Norman-Philips contacted the 95th Bomb Group Heritage Association after a request by a villager for a memorial to be built in 2009.
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Research revealed information about nine of the crew. Troops from the American air bases in Mildenhall and Lakenheath, members of the Royal British Legion and Suffolk County Council attended the ceremony. Funding for the memorial came from villagers, the heritage association, the 95th Bomb Group Memorials Foundation and some of the crew’s families.