Mourning Britons urged not to blame US

BRITONS mourning the three soldiers killed in the “friendly fire” incident are being urged not to blame the US military.Lieutenant Colonel Peter Dixon, the secretary of the Royal Anglians said the regiment - which last week lost three soldiers, including Private Aaron McClure from Ipswich - had received “tremendous support” from the Americans in the past few months.

BRITONS mourning the three soldiers killed in the “friendly fire” incident are being urged not to blame the US military.

Lieutenant Colonel Peter Dixon, the secretary of the Royal Anglians said the regiment - which last week lost three soldiers, including Private Aaron McClure from Ipswich - had received “tremendous support” from the Americans in the past few months.

He appealed for people not to come to any conclusions over the cause of the incident until the completion of an inquiry currently being carried out by the American authorities and the British Ministry of Defence.

Lt Col Dixon said: “There is a lot of speculation as to what happened, and there are a number of things that could have happened, so it is totally wrong to come to any conclusions before the inquiry has finished.

“It might have been pilot error, or an error made by a person on the ground, but it could also have been a technical problem which can be overcome to stop it happening again.”

Aaron McClure, 19, Harlow teenager Robert Foster, also 19, and 21-year-old John Thrumble, from Chelmsford, died after a bomb was dropped by an F15 jet based at RAF Lakenheath.

Most Read

Two other soldiers, who were also serving with the 7 Platoon B Company (Suffolk) of 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment, were injured during the incident on August 23.

Lt Col Dixon said: “There are three families who are desperate to know what happened, and it has affected the morale of troops, but they will be more determined now to carry on the good work.

“The Americans have come to our troops' rescue on a number of occasions, and the troops would not want this incident to sour the relationship between their close allies because we will need to work closely in the future together.

“In close combat there is always going to be a chance that something like this will happen. If you look back in history this has been happening since we had indirect fire.”

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter