Second flypast over East Anglia will honour Mi Amigo crash victims
PUBLISHED: 08:41 22 February 2019 | UPDATED: 08:59 22 February 2019
United States Air Force (USAF) aircraft from two Suffolk airbases will take part in a second flypast a little closer to home to honour the victims of a plane crash 75 years ago.
RAF Lakenheath and RAF Mildenhall, which both house USAF units and personnel, will honour the victims of the ‘Mi Amigo’ crash in 1944 with a special anniversary flypast on Friday.
The B-17 Flying Fortress – known as Mi Amigo – crashed in Endcliffe Park in Sheffield on February 22, 1944, killing all ten men on board.
MORE: Suffolk airbases prepare for ‘memorable’ anniversary flypast
The flypast was arranged after BBC Breakfast presenter Dan Walker met 82-year-old Tony Foulds during a walk in the park, and a social media campaign quickly gathered pace.
Mr Foulds was eight-years-old when he witnessed the B-17 Flying Fortress, Mi Amigo, crash and explode in the park as the pilot apparently tried to avoid him and his friends.
He has tended the park’s memorial for decades since the crash.
The aircraft will perform the flypast in Sheffield around 8.45am, but it has now been announced that a second flypast will take place tomorrow between 9.45am and 10am over the Cambridge American Cemetery as the planes make their way back to base.
The Royal British Legion will lay a wreath at the Madingley Road cemetery, where three of the Mi Amigo crew are interred, as part of the remembrance ceremony.
MORE: Airmen at RAF Lakenheath ‘deeply moved’ by Sheffield pensioner’s call for flypast
Captain Jhanelle Haag, USAF Europe-United Kingdom public affairs officer, said the aircraft expected to take part - depending on the weather - are F-15E Strike Eagles from RAF Lakenheath, a KC-135 Stratotanker, a MC-130J Commando II and a CV-22 Osprey from RAF Mildenhall, as well as a Typhoon and a Dakota from RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire.
Captain Lauren Schlichting, 28, from Minnesota, who will pilot an F15E Strike Eagle jet from RAF Lakenheath, said: “We definitely don’t take it lightly to be able to honour those who came before us and we’re happy to do it.”
Lieutenant Andrew Knighten, 29, from Chicago, a weapons systems officer in the F15E, said: “It’s pretty humbling, honestly, just for everyone that’s gone before us and for us to get to fly over and just honour them.”
The Sheffield part of the flypast will be broadcast live on BBC Breakfast tomorrow.
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