The story of Sheffield pensioner Tony Foulds and the Mi Amigo plane crash has inspired a new campaign aimed at shining a light on other wartime stories in the lead up to the 75th anniversary of D-Day.
Tony was only a young boy when he witnessed the badly damaged American bomber B-17 Flying Fortress, known as Mi Amigo, crash into Endcliffe Park in 1944, killing all 10 crewmen on board.
The 82-year-old Lowedges man says he has spent the last several decades tending to a memorial dedicated to the airmen and was the inspiration behind a campaign for a military flypast that was watched by thousands of people in the park, and millions more live on TV, in February to mark 75 years since the tragedy.
In light of the event, US Ambassador to the UK Robert ‘Woody’ Johnson has now launched the #KeepTheMemoryAlive75 campaign to discover British stories about the American soldiers based in this country in the run up to D-Day.
Ambassador Johnson is calling on people across the country to get in touch to share their own stories of the Americans who lived in their communities during the Second World War.
He said: “Almost every town and village in the United Kingdom has a story to tell about the American soldiers stationed here in the run up to D-Day.
“It is such a privilege to hear about all the experiences those young Americans had in this country – the sacrifices they made and the very special friendships they formed with the British people they stood shoulder to shoulder with.
“To mark this year’s special anniversary of D-Day, I am asking people across the UK to get in touch and share their stories of the American troops in their communities.
“Together, we can keep their memories alive for each new generation to come.”
D-Day saw the allies invade Normandy on Tuesday, June 6, 1944 in a bid to drive the Nazis out of France.
It is not clear yet how the stories people come forward with will be used but the ambassador said he “wants to honor those people in the UK like, Tony Foulds, who have stories to tell about their personal connections to the American military effort in Britain during World War Two.”
Anyone with stories to tell are asked to contact the US Embassy on 0207 891 3809 or email Reflond@state.gov