Foulsham remembers the airmen who lost their lives during the Second World War
PUBLISHED: 17:52 15 May 2017 | UPDATED: 17:52 15 May 2017
Archant © 2017
A village has held a ceremony to remember the loss of airmen who flew from RAF Foulsham during the Second World War and looked back at a tragic mid-air collision between American and British aircraft.
Former and current members of the Royal Air Force laid a wreath on Market Hill in Foulsham on Friday, May 12, in memory of those who flew in 192 Squadron, part of RAF 100 Group, based at Bylaugh Hall.
Representatives of American pilots lost in a mid-air collision also attended and laid a plaque honouring the memory of the men who died when an America B-17 Flying Fortress collided with an RAF Beaufighter over the village in 1943.
Andrew Macnair of the Foulsham Community Archives said: “We laid a wreath, which occurs every year, and were pleased to have three people there who had served at RAF Foulsham. The second part of the event was laying a wreath in front of a newly installed memorial for the collision between an American aircraft and British Beaufighter.
“There was a very nice collection of people who made it including an America Lieutenant Colonel from Lakenheath. It was by far our biggest turn out and I would imagine there was about 120 people that attended.”
Speaking of the collision, Mr Macnair added: “The actual aircraft involved were nothing to do with Foulsham but it is just by chance that it occurred over the village. This is the first time is has ever been commemorated.”
The man most responsible for documenting and remembering the tragic accident, which left just two survivors, is historical researcher, Richard Ravencroft. Mr Ravencroft said he had begun researching the collision 27 years ago after he found a piece of the B17’s fuselage in a tree.
He said: “Foulsham has a historical group that gets together and collates information about the village and I had previously contacted them about the collision. They then contacted me to say they’d like to donate the plaque.
“It is fantastic to see it laid and to see the Americans being there. It is probably one of the first times they’ve been back. We had representatives from Lakenheath as well as veterans and we spent the weekend with them. It was brilliant speak to them and they were incredibly thankful for the interest and commemoration of their fallen comrades.”