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Thread: A new monument for Allied airmen - about a mile from where I live

  1. #1
    Master thieuster's Avatar
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    A new monument for Allied airmen - about a mile from where I live

    As per title: there's a new monument for Allied airmen who fought (and died) during WWII. The monument is revealed on Oct 1, just a month ago and is located about a mile east from where I live.

    We have a handful of US forumites here. They might be interested in the whole story. The monument is for the crew members of Tennessee Toddy, an American B17-G (reg. 42-37737) and for one of its crew members who died in a farm close where he was found when he'd jumped out of the plane.

    There's a steel monument, a plaque and a young tree (planting a young tree for every killed crew member has become a tradition here in the Netherlands). The plaque reads:


    Tennesse Toddy

    During World War II, a B17G 42-37737, an American bomber with the name Tennesse Toddy lifts off from Basingbourne (England) on Oct 10th, 1943.

    The target for the trip was Münster (Germany). The plane was already in trouble before it had reached its target. Engine #3 bellowed smoke and has died. After dropping the bombs, the problems got worse. The plane could not keep up with its Group and stayed behind, but managed to become part of another, later group. German Flak killed engine #1 as well. The crew tried to restart engine #3, but the engine got on fire. The plane lost altitude and the captain. 2nd Lt Verrill, ordered the crew members to jump that was over the town of Markelo (about 50 kms to the east - as the crow flies). 9 men jumped but 2nd lt. J. Lilley (bombardier) stayed unnoticed when his parachute caught the rear altitude rudder. He fell. He fell into the trees in the hamlet of Broekland, located at De Geeste 9. He fell severely wounded on the ground. The Beekman family brought him inside their house and took off his flying cap. He opened his eyes for a while, but then passed away.

    The pilot managed to put the plane on the ground around 16:30 uur, although being hunted by German fighter planes. He landed the plane in a meadow located at the Werler 1. That is a few hundred meters north of where the monument is. Hij ran away, but like 7 other crew members got caught by the Germans. Only navigator Horning escaped and returned to England in January 1944.

    This monument remembers those who made great sacrifises for our freedom.
    Elementary School De Diamant in Beemte has adopted the monument and will hold an annual service to remember this plane crash.



    (it is custom here that elementary schools adopt a war monument nearby / close to their location. They maintain the monument with people from the city council and school classes attended special days to remember what has happened during that day.

    Menno










    [url=https://postimg.cc/tsSL9zSr]
    Last edited by thieuster; 1st November 2021 at 16:29.

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    Grand Master mart broad's Avatar
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    Just one word

    Respect
    I FEEL LIKE I'M DIAGONALLY PARKED IN A PARALLEL UNIVERSE

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    Very timely with the poppy season upon us. Brave men that deserve to be honoured and remembered for eternity.

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    Master
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    Nice to see a bomber crew remembered, it always seemed to me that they were not revered as much as the fighter pilots although they were equally as brave.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mart broad View Post
    Just one word

    Respect
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    and I bow in silence!

    Jim

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    Master Sinnlover's Avatar
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    A new monument for Allied airmen - about a mile from where I live

    Thank you for sharing. I love how the Dutch think it’s important to remember the sacrifices made in the name of freedom. It’s not politicised like it can be here

    There is a little more information here

    http://www.americanairmuseum.com/aircraft/6660

    This looks to be a picture of the crew (or some of the crew) States side in training

    http://www.americanairmuseum.com/person/198829

    One of the work projects I am currently involved with is at this groups home base (Bassingbourn). The hangers still have the graffiti scrawled by very young, very scared / very bored, home sick airman all those years ago. It makes one think.

    A war time documentary well worth watching to get an idea of what these young men when through is William Wilders Memphis Bell it was filmed on the 25th mission of a B17 crew from the same base and bomb group a few months before this aircraft was lost.
    At that time 25 missions was the cut off point at which you got to go home, it took the USAAF a year before a crew managed it. The losses were so great.
    The Memphis Bell was the first plane and crew to complete the tour and return home. The plane still exists in the Smithsonian. Lord Putnam made drama film out of the story in the 90s which is pure fiction.
    As the Germans resistance weakened the USAAF upped the number of missions needed to get home first to 30 and then 36.



    A picture of a B17G I took a few years ago
    Last edited by Sinnlover; 1st November 2021 at 22:28.

  7. #7
    Craftsman
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    Nice post.

    Thank you

  8. #8
    Master
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    That's nice to see. Reminded me of this story from a few years ago:

    https://www.statesboroherald.com/loc...g-uk-children/

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    Master Omegary's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing Menno, you guys have a good way of remembering and educating the younger generation.

    For anyone interested I can highly recommend the book The Pathfinders by Will Iredale. Just what those young men went through beggars believe, I can't imagine todays youngsters doing the same.

    Cheers,
    Gary

  10. #10
    Master thieuster's Avatar
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    I did some online investigating to see (read) if I could find out more. It was a horrifying October day, back in '43.

    The plane in de fields.


    The date, 10-10-43 rung a bell. A rather infamous day in Dutch history. 10-10-43 was a Sunday and despite the war and the occupation by the Nazis, soccer-games were still allowed (important here).

    The Allied had planned a bomb-raid on the western part of Germany, with Münster as the main target. On the flight path to Münster, Allied planes had to fly over a Dutch town called Enschede (do not try to pronounce that if you're not Dutch...) and near that town, there was an airfield for German fighter planes. Part of the allied plan was to bomb the airfield. That didn't work out and the bombs were dropped on the town. As a result, lots of civilians got killed. Hence the historical significance of 10-10-43. For months, the Germans used this bombardment as an argument to convince the Dutch people of the 'right cause of the Nazis'(...).

    I then discovered an item on the internet about a local man (from the village of Twello, 3 kms to the east), now in his 80/90s who had his memories about WW2 written down by a local journalist. https://bevrijdingvandeveluwe.nl/oog...-bosch-deel-2/ The older man told the journalist that he was watching the local Sunday afternoon soccer match when the B17 flew over the soccer pitch, descending alarmingly. He clearly remembers the shock of horror when the spectators and players realized that there was a man being dragged behind the (nearly crashed) plane! The plane rapidly descended, hit a row of trees and the airman was caught by the trees near a farm yard - after that, he fell from the tree. We know that already.

    The airman is buried at the American War Cemetery in Margraten, near Maastricht.

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