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Service to commemorate US forces at Greenham Control Tower



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A service was held at Greenham Control Tower on Sunday to commemorate the sacrifice and contribution of US armed forces - including the victims of two Greenham air disasters in 1944.

On December 12, 1944, a glider carrying American soldiers crashed in Greenham, killing all 33 on-board.

Just three days later, a pair of B-17 Flying Fortresses collided above the common as they returned from a bombing raid on Germany, killing 16 crewmen.

The service at the Control Tower.
The service at the Control Tower.

The incidents were not widely-reported in Britain at the time, but a pair of memorial stones were unveiled in Greenham Business Park in 2012, in memory of those who lost their lives in the incidents.

The memorials were dedicated by Princess Anne, and concerns over a lack of prominence led to the stones being moved to the Greenham Common Control Tower site in 2019.

The relocation was commissioned by the Newbury branch of the Royal British Legion and Greenham Trust, and the Legion has organised annual services of remembrance at the stones.

The service at the Control Tower.
The service at the Control Tower.

They stand alongside a further memorial to all American service people.

This year's service was attended by a number of local dignitaries, as well as veterans and representatives from the Royal British Legion.

Lieutenant General James Bashall, national president of the Legion, was among those laying wreaths at the stones.

General Bashall said: "It was very emotional, very profound - it's wonderful that we can still come here and remember these brave Americans.

The service at the Control Tower.
The service at the Control Tower.

"All the civic leaders are here, and I think this link with America is still very important for people around Newbury."

Newbury Mayor Billy Drummond said: "It was a really good turnout, remembering the 33 servicemen and the other 16 servicemen who died."

Also in attendance was a representative from the US Armed Forces, Captain Martina Wolfe.

Captain Wolfe commented: "It was a wonderful service, there was a great turnout - even though the weather was a little bit cold.

"It was very good being a part of it."

The service at the Control Tower.
The service at the Control Tower.
The service at the Control Tower.
The service at the Control Tower.
The service at the Control Tower.
The service at the Control Tower.
The service at the Control Tower.
The service at the Control Tower.
The service at the Control Tower.
The service at the Control Tower.
The service at the Control Tower.
The service at the Control Tower.
The service at the Control Tower.
The service at the Control Tower.
The service at the Control Tower.
The service at the Control Tower.
The service at the Control Tower.
The service at the Control Tower.
The service at the Control Tower.
The service at the Control Tower.

Photos courtesy of Lee Sainsbury / Oxygen Photography



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