Memorial Dedication to the crew of B-24 Liberator on V.E. day.
Organised by Chas Jellis.
There will be a memorial dedication to the crew of the B-24 Liberator “Beast of Bourbon” on Saturday 7th May 2011 at 12 noon. The memorial stone will be placed on the green in Long Marston next to the existing war memorial.
Airmen of Lt. Louis McCarthy’s crew in Liberator #42-50385, R4-H nicknamed Beast of Bourbon who died in a take-off crash at Long Marston, England on February 19, 1945 were arial gunners: S/Sgt. Carl E. Lindquist (21), Pvt. Fred K. Becker (20), Pvt. Howard F. Haley (20).
Veterans and families of the lost crewman, who will be travelling from the United States, will be attending this ceremony. There will be a procession from the Long Marston Victory Hall with a guard of honour and colour party.
All villagers are invited to attend the ceremony. After the ceremony, tea will be available at the Victory Hall. There will also be WW2 displays.
All are invited to join the U.S. Air Force veterans in enjoying a 1940’s dance at the Victory Hall in the evening from 7.30pm.
To view information regarding the 36th Bomb Squadron visit Steve Hutton’s website: http://www.36rcm.com
Sunday 8th May
There is a visit to Madingly American War Cemetery and to Duxford Imperial War Museum with the veterans. Tickets are available.
Monday 9th May
A tour, with the veterans, of the Old Airfield at Cheddington will be hosted by Chas Jellis, meeting at the old airbase gate at 9.30am. This will be followed by a visit to the 36BS memorial at Ford End Farm, Ivinghoe. A visit will also be made to the crash site of the B-24 “Beast of Bourbon”. All are welcome.
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Review of the Memorial Ceremony
Early showers on the morning of 7th May cleared up in time for the start of the 36BS Memorial Ceremony to honour the crew of the Liberator 42-50385 otherwise known as the “Beast of Bourbon”. At 10am the road into Long Marston was closed and all was made ready. Military vehicles were parked along the road. The military lorry parked outside Redmays was of particular interest to the younger members of the village as they were allowed to climb up onto the back to get a good view of the proceedings.
A few hundred people were there to watch a large Dodge staff car drive up the road from which veterans from WW2 stepped out. A group of re-enactment soldiers followed the vehicle up the road and marched on through the entrance to Loxley Farm.
Chas Jellis, the Memorial Organiser, gave an opening speech and described his initial interest in the whereabouts of the crashed plane and how he found various items from the aircraft in the field near Long Marston where it came to rest. He also gave an account of his journey of discovery from that day to now. How he acquired much information on the subject and how, by chance, he was introduced to Stephen Hutton who has since written a book on the 36th Bomb Squadron.
Chas also introduced us to the veterans including 1st Lt. John (Des) Howarth and Pilot Art Brusila and welcomed the U.S. families, friends and current military personnel including Lt. Col. Shannon Driscoll.
Permission was then given by 1st Lt. John Howarth for advance colours to commence. The order of the service is given below.
The whole ceremony was very moving and informative. For me, the moment when the ghost crew walked silently through the crowd and took their places up on the current war memorial was particularly moving.
John Howarth, a member from the crew, gave an account of his memories of that fateful day, also saying that 10 seconds later and he wouldn’t have made it to be here today.
Stephen Hutton gave a fascinating speech about the history of the squadron and its missions and guest speaker Lt. Col. Shannon Driscoll described the mission of the 36 Electronic Warfare Squadron today and its continuing duty in maintaining freedom. He was moved by his visit to the UK and was particularly touched as to how we pay our respects to our greatest generation.
A stunning “wow” air display by a WW2 fighter plane went on above the crowd’s heads. This display was freely given by a pilot from North Weald aerodrome.
There was a blessing by Rev. Jane Bannister and a formal laying of wreaths and 1 minute silence.
The Kohima, For the Fallen was read by Heda Kootz and the ceremony was brought to a close.
The return to the Victory Hall was lead by the soldiers. Everyone was invited to the ceremony tea and viewing of WW2 displays. The exhibits both in and out of the Victory Hall were extremely interesting and relevant to the day. There were a number of military vehicles on the forecourt outside the hall; all in amazingly good condition and items from the crashed plane, memorabilia and photographs were displayed inside the Victory Hall.
Teas served by the WI were well received and enjoyed, as were the sandwiches and cakes.
Order of Service
|12.00||Opening Speech by Memorial Organiser Chas Jellis.|
|Guard take post.|
|Ghost Crew walk out.|
|12.15||Speech by Veteran of the Crash, 1st Lt. John (Des) Howarth, Navigator.|
|12.25||Blessing by Local Vicar Jane Bannister.|
|Veterans John Howarth and Pilot Art Brusila, present arms and taps.|
|1 minute silence.|
|12.30||Fly past by WWII Fighter.|
|12.35||Laying of wreaths.|
|36BS Historian Stephen Hutton, Son of Iredell Hutton, Tail Gunner on B24: The Jigs Up.|
|12.45||Guest Speaker: Lt. Col. Shannon Driscoll from the 36 Electronic Warfare Squadron, Eglin Airforce Base, Florida.|
|12.50||Heda Kootz reads letters from the Prime Minister and HRH Prince Andrew.|
|Kohima, For the Fallen.|
|12.55||Return: Chas Jellis|