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'Look to the skies on February 22' - Tony gets flypast to honour US airmen

PUBLISHED: 09:11 22 January 2019 | UPDATED: 13:57 22 January 2019

Tony Foulds at the memorial he has loving tended for 75 years to the 10 US airmen who died in Endcliffe Park, Sheffield in 1944 Picture: DAN WALKER

Tony Foulds at the memorial he has loving tended for 75 years to the 10 US airmen who died in Endcliffe Park, Sheffield in 1944 Picture: DAN WALKER

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A flypast to honour the victims of a US bomber crash in Sheffield 75 years ago will go ahead after a moving campaign was launched, it was been confirmed.

The crew of B-17 Flying Fortress nicknamed The crew of B-17 Flying Fortress nicknamed "Mi Amigo" of the 305th Bomb Group. Back Row: Robert Mayfield, Vito Ambrosio, Harry Estabrooks, George Williams, Charles Tuttle, Maurice Robbins. Front Row: John Kriegshauser, Lyle Curtis, Melchor Hernandez, John Humphrey Picture: AMERICAN WAR MUSEUM

BBC Breakfast presenter Dan Walker launched the campaign after meeting pensioner Tony Foulds in Endcliffe Park in the South Yorkshire city two weeks ago.

Mr Foulds was eight-years-old when he witnessed the B-17 Flying Fortress – known as Mi Amigo – crash in the park on February 22, 1944.

All ten men on board the aircraft, which was returning from an intended bombing raid, were killed.

Mr Foulds has maintained the park’s memorial at the scene of the crash for decades and told Walker that he would love a flypast on the 75th anniversary of the crash to honour the victims.

A spokesman for Suffolk’s RAF Lakenheath, which houses US Air Force units and personnel, said servicemen at the base were “deeply moved” by the story earlier in the month.

MORE: Airmen at RAF Lakenheath ‘deeply moved’ by Sheffield pensioner’s call for flypast

This morning, Mr Foulds was surprised live on the BBC Breakfast show when Colonel Will Marshall, from RAF Lakenheath, said: “It gives me great pleasure to say look to the skies on the 22 of February for a very special flyby.”

Airmen from RAF Lakenheath will fly alongside colleagues from nearby RAF Mildenhall in the special display.

RAF Lakenheath tweeted: “An exciting announcement from RAF Lakenheath and RAF Mildenhall for the 75th anniversary of the U.S. B-17 crash in Sheffield that claimed ten American lives.

“Look to the skies on 22 February for a very special flyby.”

Walker tweeted: “Wow! Amazing to have @USAmbUK meeting Tony Foulds on #BBCbreakfast and confirming that #TonyGotAFlypast

Thanks to everyone involved and the amazing people at @48FighterWing.”

A spokesman for RAF Lakenheath said: “We’re overjoyed to announce that we will be conducting the flypast of the “Mi Amigo” Memorial in Endcliffe Park requested by the Sheffield City Council.

“One month from today on February 22, the 48th Fighter Wing will fly alongside our wingmen from the Royal Air Force and the US Air Forces’ 100th Air Refueling Wing and 352nd Special Operations Wings at RAF Mildenhall to pay tribute to the ten US aircrew members who lost their lives 75 years ago.

“We are immensely grateful for everyone’s support and are proud to do our part honouring the legacy of our fallen heroes.”

Flying Fortress Sally B at the Jubilee Air Show Duxford in 2012 Picture: STEVE BROOKS/IWMFlying Fortress Sally B at the Jubilee Air Show Duxford in 2012 Picture: STEVE BROOKS/IWM

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