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Earlier this week, Monday January 20, the Friends of Lavenham Airfield (FOLA) hosted a Groundbreaking Ceremony to begin work on a new Memorial Plaque dedicated to over 200 American Troops who lost their lives in World War Two whilst based at Lavenham Airfield in Suffolk, England.
US Troops from the 487th Bombardment Group arrived at the Airfield in 1944, and volunteers representing FOLA explained the lasting legacy of American involvement in the local community. One volunteer, Mike Warner, said "For a long time we felt that the Airmen gave so much to the village, so we should honor them ... A lot of villages at the time didn’t have running water, electric or heat, so the Airmen made our little town in a city with resources. They interacted with community members and gave everyone incredible spirit."
Representing the USAF at the ceremony was Colonel Will Marshall, who helped lay the first bricks. Explaining the importance of the plaque to the US Air Force, Col. Marshall said "This site is one of many in East Anglia where heroes took to the skies to defeat tyranny, many who didn’t return. It is great to see our communities work together to continue to honor their bravery and sacrifice. The 48th FW was honored to be part of the groundbreaking ceremony here at Lavenham for a new memorial which will preserve history and connect future generations to those brave airmen who secured our freedom."
When completed, the memorial will be formally unveiled in May 2020, with up to 40 family and friends of veterans of the US Air Force expected to attend. As we approach the 75th anniversary of VE Day, it's never been more important to remember those who fought for our freedom, so a huge congratulations to the Friends of Lavenham Airfield for their fantastic work.