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Royal British Legion members to honor Mi Amigo American Airmen
Further commemorations organized for February 22 will mark the 75th anniversary of the crash of the Mi Amigo
Members of the Frecheville Sheffield Branch of the Royal British Legion have organized ceremonies to take place on February 22 as part of commemorations of the crash of the B-17 Bomber, the Mi Amigo, which claimed the lives of 10 American Airmen during World War Two. The plane crashed in Sheffield's Endcliffe Park on February 22, 1944, but this year the historic anniversary of the event has captured the essense of the Special Relationship through the inspirational story of Sheffield local Tony Foulds, whose dedication to tending the Endcliffe Park memorial to the crew has been documented by BBC journalist Dan Walker.
The Frecheville Branch will be holding a service on February 22 at 8am, which will comprise of the playing of the hymn, Amazing Grace, for Tony Foulds, prayers, a poem and a reading from St John's Gospel (to be read by Frecheville member Danielle Reilly). The service will also feature the The Last Post and Reville, and Taps. The service will be led by the Branch Padre, Father Ian Jennings, whilst the Bugle will be played by Branch Bugler Norman Cawkwell. Pat Davey, Chairman of the Frecheville Branch of the Royal British Legion, who kindly informed us of this service, will present a euology to the crew.
Ms Davey has also arranged a ceremonial wreath laying at the Cambridge American Cemetery, where three of the Mi Amigo crew are buried. Wreaths will be laid on the graves of Staff Sergeant Harry Estabrooks, Sergeant Maurice Robbins and Sergeant Charles Tuttle in time with the Endcliffe Park flypast (which is scheduled for approx. 8:45am GMT). The wreaths will be laid by members of Sawston Royal British Legion, with Standards and a Bugler also in attendance. Visitor details for the Cambridge American Cemetery at Madingley can be found by going to https://www.abmc.gov/cemeteries-memorials/europe/cambridge-american-cemetery.
Ms Davey explained that the event is "particularly poignant to me because I do have both American and Canadian antecedents dating back to six years after the Pilgrim Fathers landed, and also for ten years in the 1990s my husband [John - who passed away seven years ago] was Sheffield RAFA Padre and every year he organised a Commemorative Service for these men (boys really and on three occasions we visited the graves of the three men buried at Madingley and laid flowers on their graves)."
Thank you to the Frecheville and Sawston branches of the Royal British Legion for helping this ocassion to truly reflect the important history that the United States and United Kingdom share, and to honor the memory of the 10 US Airmen who lost their lives in the service of their nation.
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