Monday, 25 February 2019

1902.25 TONY GOT A FLYPAST

On Friday there was a substantial event in my home city of Sheffield. If you've following it on the news (particularly BBC Breakfast) it's the story of a man who tends to a memorial in a local park that came to light when on of the Breakfast presenters came across him whilst he was walking his dog. The man wanted a flypast to commemorate the 75th anniversary of a USAF aeroplane that crashed there. We couldn't make the flypast that morning but we still thought it important to pay our respects.

Tony Foulds was eight when he witnessed a B-17 Flying Fortress, known as Mi Amigo crash and explode in the park as the pilot apparently tried to avoid him and his friends who were playing there. A social media-led campaign subsequently went viral and a flypast was successfully organised along with new steps and a flagpole for the crash memorial.

I've known about the story of the crashed aeroplane in Endcliffe Park since I was a child when my Great Nannan Ida used to take me into the park when the weather permitted. She told me the story of the brave American airmen that crashed their plane in the adjacent woods rather than hit the children playing.

I'd seen the monument so many times but I had no idea that one of the children who had been playing in the park that fateful day would have been tending to that monument every day. So when I learned about the story and the campaign I booked the day off.


In the end we couldn't get down for the actual flypast but one of the planes actually flew over our house. Still we felt that we should still go down and pay our respects. We made our way to the park which was still quite busy. We laid flowers on the memorial and had a 'moment' before nipping to the park cafe for a cup of tea.


All over the world there are probably stories like this, hidden away, kept by people just going about their lives. When they do come to light it warms your heart and gives back a little faith in the human race.


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