Appeal for donations
B17 Flying Fortress “Buttercup”
As you are probably aware, the History Group has been looking into the plane crash that took place in Latchford Lane on 13 November 1943. This was an American Army plane (before the Air Force was formed) flying from an airfield at Thurleigh, Bedfordshire on a sortie to bomb Bremen, Germany.
The crew consisted of ten, six of which it was their maiden flight. Due to bad weather, the plane along with another which came down near Princes Risborough decided to turn back as this particular aircraft was prone to icing up. The plane at Great Haseley exploded on landing immediately killing eight of the crew, the two survivors were taken to the hospital in Oxford but died about two weeks later of their burns. After much research and time, the crash site was found, thanks to an ex-resident of Haseley who lived here when it happened.
We have discovered that five of the crew are buried at the American War Cemetery at Madingley, near Cambridge, whilst the bodies of the others were repatriated to the USA. The History Group has been in contact with relatives of the crew, and found out further details about their lives.
It is planned to install a memorial in the church yard to mark this event and it will be unveiled on Remembrance Sunday (12 November) which will be 80 years less a day to the crash. It seems that some of the family members are hoping to come over from the States for this event so we must make them feel welcome.
We are now looking to raise funds for this memorial and hope that the people of Haseley and beyond, will be generous and support this venture. We need to raise about £5,000.
Should you wish to give a donation this can be done as cash, cheque (made payable to the Parish Council of Great Haseley) or by BACS to. Acc No: 69434433 Sort Code 60 21 21 quoting B17 so that the money goes in the right pot! Cheques etc should be sent to Mrs J Simcox, 62 Latchford Lane, Great Haseley, Oxford OX44 7LE. A Just Giving page (www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/B17-Buttercup-memorial) is also available if you wish to give your donation by that route.