Aviation enthusiast founded museum

FAMILY and friends have paid tribute to Ipswich aircraft enthusiast Ron Buxton, who has died aged 74 after a long illness.Mr Buxton, of Nacton Road, was one of the founders of the 390th Bomb Group Memorial Air Museum at Parham Airfield near Framlingham.

By Judy Rimmer

FAMILY and friends have paid tribute to Ipswich aircraft enthusiast Ron Buxton, who has died aged 74 after a long illness.

Mr Buxton, of Nacton Road, was one of the founders of the 390th Bomb Group Memorial Air Museum at Parham Airfield near Framlingham.

He worked tirelessly to create this unique collection and will be very much missed by veterans and air enthusiasts alike.

"The museum was Ron's life really," said his wife, Audree, 72. "He put so much work into it."

Ron was a loving stepfather to Audree's two sons, Stewart Evans and his brother Michael, who died last year, and he was also a devoted grandfather.

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Stewart, 53, worked with Ron and a small group of fellow volunteers to set up the museum in the 1970s, in tribute to the American service personnel who were stationed in Suffolk during the war.

Later Stewart concentrated more on other interests, but he said: "Ron always stayed involved with the museum. He did love the tower."

Ron was involved in flying groups of American veterans over to visit the museum. He and Stewart also went to the US as the guests of the 390th, staying at Memphis, Tennessee.

He was born in Woodbridge, and during the war he lived with his family at Ufford. "As a teenager he used to see the bombers going over, and he went to one or two crash scenes," said Stewart.

Ron was an engineer, working for Potters of Framlingham and later for Vicon at Whitehouse Road in Ipswich.Because of his wartime memories, Ron was keen to pay tribute to the American veterans and so he was determined to make the museum a reality.

The late Percy Kindred and his family donated the land for the museum, and Stewart said that Ron and Percy had always got on very well together.

In 1972, Ron and Stewart hit the headlines when they found the wreckage of the aircraft piloted by Joseph Kennedy, brother of President John F Kennedy.

Joe Kennedy died when the aircraft he was piloting crashed over North Suffolk in 1944 and they found part of the plane at Hinton, near Blythburgh.

"We were on the national TV news," said Stewart.

Ron Buxton's funeral was held at Ipswich Crematorium, and during the service Colin Durrant paid tribute on behalf of the museum.

The family asked for no flowers but said donations could be made to the British Heart Foundation, care of Co-operative Funeral Service, 10 Upper Orwell Street, Ipswich, IP4 1HW.

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