After seeing lots of articles the last few weeks regarding the 75th anniversary of the crash landing of the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress in Sheffield, we decided to head on down there for a little family walk and visit the spot dedicated to the 10 USAF Airmen that lost their lives that day.
The story has garnered lots of media attention recently, after a journalist spotted Tony tending the memorial and listened to his story. Posting the info on social media, the attention received was staggering and a memorial flyby was held on the 22nd February - 75 years after the crash in 1944.
Unfortunately, we couldn't get to visit for the flyby, but about 10,00 others did - including relatives of the air crew. The sight must have been awesome!
Tony had been playing in the park with friends that day, as the battle damaged B-17 bomber appeared low over the rooftops searching for a place to land. Seeing the children on his hopeful landing spot, the pilot eventually crash landed in the trees, resulting in the loss of all on board. The pilot, Lieutenant John Kriegshauser, was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his bravery in minimising the loss of life through his actions.
The 'Mi Amigo' was returning from it's mission to Aalborg, Denmark, where it had come under attack from German Focke-Wulf fighters - resulting in heavy damage and 3 mortally wounded crew members. The pilot and copilot managed to navigate back to England through terrible weather conditions, but suffered engine failure over Sheffield, forcing them to land.
Tony has tended to the crash site since 1953, after learning the significance of the crash and how the pilot had spared the children's lives at the expense of their own. In 1969, a memorial was built by the RAF to honour the airmen. Tony has selflessly tended to the area almost daily ever since.
On our visit, we'd been at the memorial for only a few minutes before Tony himself approached us through the trees. We weren't expecting to see him, but we were so glad we did. It was an honour to shake the hand of this gentleman.
He also posed for a photo with my little Sea Cadet, who wants to join the Navy when he's older. Such an awesome memory for him to treasure.
When asking about Tony's personal wreath laid at the back of the memorial, he told us that that's also the place reserved for his ashes to be laid when he passes. That certainly brought a tear to the eye. What an amazing man.
A few more snaps.
We left Tony to be interviewed once again and carried on our little walk.
Endcliffe Park is a lovely place to visit. Even on a gloomy, rainy February day (typically it was red hot the day before we went!)
For more info on the place, click HERE.
Some more snaps from our walk.
Gear used: Fujifilm X100F
Thought I'd start this little blog to let people know what we get up to. Some personal stuff thrown in the mix too.