BNC Text K66

Suffolk Sound Archive: opening a restored control tower and airfield as a memorial to the Three-Ninetieth Bomb Group. Sample containing about 6608 words speech recorded in leisure context

1 recordings

  1. Tape 092501 recorded on unknown date. LocationSuffolk: Parham ( airfield ) Activity: opening a restored control tower and airfield as a memorial to the Three-Ninetieth Bomb Group speeches

Undivided text

(K66PSUNK) [1] May I have your attention please.
[2] The festivities will now start and I don't think I'm out of order at all if I asked all the Three-Ninetieth veterans to give a real round of applause to these beautiful British people have come, have come out this after this after th this afternoon.
(K66PSUGP) [laugh] [clapping]
(K66PSUNK) [3] Thank you very much.
[4] ... Well now I have the principal speaker for the day.
[5] This is a gentleman who started out as a co-pilot in the Five-Seventieth squadron.
[6] He stayed the entire time.
[7] He ended up the Operations Officer.
[8] He has numerous awards and decorations [...] crosses [...] crosses, air medals et cetera.
[9] Richard H Dick Thank you.
(K66PSUGP) [clapping]
(K66PSUNK) [10] Er ladies and gentlemen and [...] guests, I'm er very honoured an to be able to participate in this historic dedication.
[11] I want to first of all express our extreme pleasure for having the arrangements that were made by our good English friends, especially those associated with the Three-Ninetieth [clears throat] missile, well I'm sorry but I'll get that missile straightened out, Three-Ninetieth Memorial Air Museum.
[12] And I should also mention that this couldn't be possible without the generosity and help of Percy and a sincere thank you Percy.
(K66PSUGP) [clapping]
(K66PSUNK) [13] We former Three-Ninetieth er Bomb Group members er our relatives and guests appreciate the fine treatment we've been offered here in England er we love you all.
[14] We're very happy to be here and we're particularly pleased for you people from Parham, Framlingham, Ipswich and other locations joining us today and I would be negligent in not mentioning the fact that we have representatives here from the existing Three-Ninetieth strategic missile [...] located in Tucsan, Arizona. [clears throat]
[15] This group is doing a commendable job and we are very proud of them.
[16] I could spend a great deal of time extolling the history of the two countries.
[17] Er we could talk about the customs, the English customs that have helped to er guide us as a rather new nation in our growth.
[18] I'm gonna leave that to the historians, so I won't bore you on that one.
[19] Where I could also spend a great deal of time talking about our common enemies, our mutual friends and some of the similarity and our aims for world peace and again, I'm gonna leave that for the statesmen and the politicians.
[20] Prior to getting around to the job I have to do, and that is to honour those men that gave their lives so that we could be free, I'd like to just share a few things with you as we return to this wonderful country.
[21] As I look around at this beautiful countryside I'm, my mind drifts back about forty years.
[22] And could I just ask you, just now, to take a minute and listen intently.
[23] ... What did you hear?
[24] You know it was rather quiet.
[25] I can remember and I think the rest of us from the Three-Ninetieth can remember when there were very little time when we had it this quiet.
[26] There was always that drone of aeroplane engines.
[27] They were either taking off, landing, forming in formation, going and coming from targets on the continent.
[28] And then we can remember when there was so many of the British aircraft going and coming.
[29] And some of us, I'm sure Percy can remember when we had enemy aircraft overhead.
[30] Isn't it wonderful to realize that when we hear that noise now it's because people are either flying for pleasure or business purposes.
[31] I hope that future generations will never have to suffer the, and endure the noise that we did for the same purpose.
[32] I was a rather young man, like many of the people in the Three-Ninetieth, that grew up rapidly at station one-fifty- three, Parham, England.
[33] [clears throat] We former Three- Ninetieth Bomb Group members are very, feel very fortunate to have served in this most impressive and best bomber unit in the Eighth Air Force during World War Two.
[34] And that last er apo er citation was authorized by Dutch or you can blame him if we aren't the best.
[35] [laugh] During an, a very intensive training and organization period in the United States during the first half of nineteen forty three, and that does sound a long time ago, er we er the Three-Ninetieth Bomb Group, under the able direction of Colonel , er arrived at Parham, right here, in July nineteen forty three.
[36] We were assigned almost immediately to carry our share on such missions as [...] , Hanover, Berlin and then there were those shallow missions to North Africa and, and of Russia.
[37] The record of the Three-Ninetieth was very impressive.
[38] We flew three hundred and one combat missions [...] .
[39] From our photos, aerial photos and actual er on-site information, our bombs totalling about nineteen thousand tonnes, that's a little small for what you folks are dropping nowadays, Colonel but and General, we have
(K66PSUGP) [laugh]
(K66PSUNK) [40] don't wanna, don't wanna down trade you.
[41] [laugh] We understand those bombs did tremendous damage on the targets that we were assigned.
[42] [clears throat] But er the group was credited with three, three hundred and seventy seven enemy aircraft destroyed, fifty seven probably destroyed and seventy seven damaged.
[43] This was by no means without losses.
[44] A hundred and forty five aircraft missing in action, another seventeen lost on the continent and in Europe.
[45] We will never forget this sacrifice.
[46] The group and the men associated with it were honoured with two unit citations, a thousand of individual medals and many decorations from allied countries.
[47] The aircraft we flew, the B-Seventeen Flying Fortress, was the best of its kind in its time.
[48] It was the Rolls Royce, Cadillac of its time and those of us who flew it knew of its ruggedness and its capability to do the daylight bombing [...] .
[49] The success of the Three-Ninetieth was due to a great team moulded together by superb leadership.
[50] The team consisted of listed men, officers, air, ground people, all with one aim in mind, the success of our nations.
[51] Despite our successes [clears throat] there were sobering experiences.
[52] We lost, as I said, a hundred and sixty two aircraft, fifteen hundred and twenty three men, killed or missing in action.
[53] Many of these were prisoners of war or internees and er we're very happy to report that these got home after the war and we have many of them here today that were prisoners of war.
[54] We do appreciate those of you for that sacrifice.
[55] We can think of no more appropriate location for a memorial of this sight than on English soil in a country dedicated with America to the ideals of democracy and the freedom of mankind.
[56] This memorial ... er [clears throat] illustrates the close relationship of our two countries in the past, present and the future.
[57] It is very difficult to find the proper words to acknowledge the hard and dedicated work that went into the restoration of this control tower by the Three-Ninetieth Memorial Air Museum.
[58] We, the Three Hundred and Ninetieth Bomb Group members, are very proud of this effort.
[59] Colonel our form commander was not sure he would be here about a month ago and so he sent me a statement that I would like to read.
[60] I should mention that he is here with us and I'm sure you'll be hearing from him and his wife, Dorothy, and we're very happy to have you.
[61] This is the Co Colonel's statement and I think it is very appropriate.
[62] [reading] The reconstruction of our control tower and the field from which we flew so many missions, is a beautiful reminder and a lasting memorial to all the men in Three- Ninetieth.
[63] It is without doubt the most sincere, the most gracious and the most thoughtful living [...] citation our English friends could possibly bestow upon us.
[64] The time, the effort and the loving dedication of those who conceived and carried through this project to completion make us, the Three-Ninetieth, sincerely grateful and humbly thankful to each and everyone of you, our friends [] .
[65] I've had this er framed and I hope it'll be mounted in the tower so future visitors will be able to see it.
[66] It's now time to dedicate the memorial plaque which will be located in the control tower.
[67] This plaque, this memorial plaque, is in honour of those men who gave their lives during this memorial, memorable period of history.
[68] We dedicate to them and all people who contributed to the success of this, never to be forgotten, Bomber Unit.
[69] God bless that their death was not in vain.
(K66PSUGP) [clapping]
(K66PSUNK) [70] Please could I ask for a moment's silence and look to the north er we wil where we will have a dedication fly past by A-Tens of the Eighty-First Tactical Fighter Wing.
(K66PSUNK) [71] [praying] In the name of God the Father, creator of all mankind.
[72] In the name of Jesus Christ our Lord who died for all men.
[73] In the name of the Holy Spirit who leads all men to faith in the love of God.
[74] We dedicate this memorial to those of the Three Hundred and Ninetieth Bombardment Group who were stationed here in World War Two, gave their lives in the fight against tyranny.
[75] Amen [] .
(K66PSUNK) [76] We will now call upon Mr Percy President of the Three- Ninetieth Bomber Group Memorial Air Museum.
(K66PSUGP) [clapping]
(K66PSUNK) [77] Thank you ve thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen.
[78] Er [...] extend a very hearty welcome to the members of the Three- Ninetieth Group.
[79] It's been a long time since you left us, but you're more than welcome though on your return and don't be so long before you come again.
[80] Er I'm often asked what it was like to live [...] in those eventful days and as Colonel just said well, you used to make an awful lot of noise.
[81] Er, but er most [...] early morning and we got a little respite at the end of the day, but we were always welcome when we, when we saw the group returning again.
[82] We used to wonder, as they peeled off, how many are missing today?
[83] Unfortunately that empty [...] but ... we had a little light entertainment when you first came here er especially the way you rode your bicycles er [laugh] we, we sincerely hoped that you could fly your aeroplanes a little better than that.
(K66PSUGP) [laugh]
(K66PSUNK) [84] Erm that might, might interest you to know that during the past ten years I have personally entertained something like a hundred visitors from the States who are with their families er, of course, er returned here for a look, look round.
[85] Erm I'm thinking that some of them are going to forgive me if I, I say welcome again to you.
[86] Er now the, the field itself.
[87] You'll, you'll see, I'm talking to the Three-Nineties, er you'll see a bit of a change since you were here before.
[88] Most of the concrete has gone and er well we tried to tidy the place up a little bit.
[89] Er that's been a hard old grind though, I can tell you.
[90] Erm if you'd like to look behind the hangar you'll see the sort of thing we're up against.
[91] There was, there was just hund acres and acres like that and er, but er [...] that's been worthwhile and er so hopefully we'll still improve it.
[92] Erm now the tower itself.
[93] I don't want to say too much about the tower because I'll leave that to two, two chaps who done most of the work, Ron and Colin .
[94] Er I think that's wonderful, wonderful work they've done, er they're absolutely dedicated, they've so much as spent all their time in the last four years working here.
[95] Er I just can't believe it now.
[96] Er well I don't want to make a long speech, ladies and gentlemen, but when you return to the States I hope you'll take some happy memories with you and remember, we have not forgot you, especially those chaps who failed to return.
[97] Thank you.
(K66PSUGP) [clapping]
(K66PSUNK) [98] Ladies and gentlemen, excuse my notes, hope to get it over.
[99] Ladies and gentlemen it is my great privilege, on this auspicious occasion, to welcome you here today.
[100] American guests are famous for deep ties and they hope they will consider themselves at home as long as they are in this country.
[101] In fact, I know that they will be.
[102] ... Being themselves so wonderfully hospitable as I have, through personal experiences.
[103] Americans are proud of their way of life as we are of our own although there are differences, there are many more similarities.
[104] With regards to basic ideas of freedom and justice, we are as one.
[105] We fought as one nation during the war and of course those Englishmen here today old enough to remember the period will recall, I'm sure, the young American G Is who were part of our community.
[106] Since that time there has been an uneasy peace in the world the price of which has been constant vigilance and in keeping that peace our two countries have continued together as the witness of young [clears throat] American Airforce ... men currently stationed in this country.
[107] I am sure that our joint efforts are one of the strongest bulwarks of peace in the modern world.
[108] Thank you.
(K66PSUGP) [clapping]
(K66PSUNK) [109] [...] of the Three Ninetieth Bomb Group Museum.
(K66PSUGP) [clapping]
(K66PSUNK) [110] Ladies and gentlemen erm about three years ago we finally decided to restore this car that you see behind us and although it was er an impossible task at times we, we carried on regardless and I hope that you'll agree that everything you see today, plus the fact that seeing everybody out here, I think we, you'll agree we made the right decision and er we feel that as long as this car is in this position that nobody'll erm have any doubts who the Three- Ninetieth Group were and er, I think er, I think we're all proud of this day particularly.
[111] Thank you.
(K66PSUGP) [clapping]
(K66PSUNK) [112] [...] was quoted as saying words to the effect, that we don't do much talking until the fighting is done and we hope when we, when we are gone we'll be glad we came.
[113] Well I tell you now
(K66PSUNK) [114] Good afternoon and thank you for inviting me.
[115] I was erm, asked to er speak on behalf of the locals, as it were, and er so er what can I say but welcome back, welcome back to the [...] where there's [...] nearly forty years ago you were and erm we do welcome you back here again today.
[116] When you were here before I was only a schoolboy and er just er old enough to know everything that was going on, as you might say, but young enough so as I didn't get too involved.
[117] And er my memories really go back to er the, probably the more pleasant things in the erm mission parties that we were invited to, the film shows in the Officers' Mess, er going to a Glenn Miller dance erm which was held in the hangar up here erm, I don't think we really, or I really appreciated them so much at the time as I do now.
[118] As I've got older I realize much more how important and significant they were.
[119] And, of course, as children erm, er so I think I can speak for the rest of the children around the base, the erm cigarettes, er not cigarettes, beg your pardon
(K66PSUGP) [laugh]
(K66PSUNK) [120] the er sweets and er chocolates etcetera that er we received, erm I think we in fact er, erm ... yeah well I, we obviously appreciate them very much because er they were something that we [...] a lot of and erm I know that er, that you must know that when you er were out in Ipswich, Framlingham or around about that er you met up a group, there was a group of children and I'm sure you heard the er familiar [...] up, chum.
[121] [laugh] But erm, what I did mean to bring in was th was the [...] that our parents and er our er older erm inhabitants who appreciated the cigarettes and them sort of things.
[122] Course, there was also the sadder times.
[123] Er we didn't always know what was going on but erm, we did catch the planes when they took off in the morning and we watched them come home in the afternoons and we got some ideas sometimes when things hadn't gone quite right and I'm sure we did share with you in your grief.
[124] Particularly also, of course, the planes that erm crashed [...] erm the one in particular that crashed in our village on the erm twenty seventh of December, I think it was, nineteen forty four.
[125] Erm miraculously, nobody in the village was hardly scratched but as unfortunately your whole crew perished.
[126] But erm ... we, such as myself and the young'uns and the older ones, have a lot to remember from those years ago.
[127] But I've been surprised over the last erm few years of all these young men erm who have restored this [...] museum who, although were not even born in those years, have taken a tremendous interest in what went on and erm well their results, some of their results you can see here today.
[128] Speaking of young men, erm I have a letter here from Mr John who is our local M P, who is not able to be with us today, but erm he in fact would not of, I think, been born at that stage, but erm he did write to me a little letter I've got this morning from the House of Commons in London and he asked me to read it out.
[129] It is [reading] to our American friends, I am so pleased to hear that you are coming to [...] Framlingham to celebrate your anniversary.
[130] We in Britain owe so much to our American allies, not only for their support during the last war, but also today.
[131] In this area we have your successors at of Woodbridge as they continue an honourable tradition.
[132] May I send you my very best wishes for a most successful reunion.
[133] Signed John []
(K66PSUGP) [clapping]
(K66PSUNK) [134] Well, I've spoken about how we remember you but I know you have far more memories of being here those years ago and I know you're really itching to get up off your seats and go and have a good look round to see where you were stationed and if it's at all possible to see the huts, the billets or anything where you were.
[135] So I won't really delay you any more.
[136] I would like to say that we, the locals, will be very pleased to show you round.
[137] The, if any of the ladies would like to go down to the village or anybody, the church is open and I think there's somebody there who would welcome you to show you round the church down in the village which, I know, during the war years at different times, quite a lot of you chaps did attend and er ... so we do hope you will see and, and of course later on I hope you'll be coming down to mine for a cup of tea.
[138] So all I can really say is, I do hope you enjoy your visit here to England and that when you do go back to the States you will feel that it's really been well worthwhile.
[139] Thank you.
(K66PSUGP) [clapping]
(K66PSUNK) [140] [...] played rather a dirty trick on me because he didn't tell me that I was expected to make a speech.
[141] Erm I find this afternoon brings back lots of memories, I'm sure it does to you.
[142] I came to Framlingham just as you were going.
[143] I came as a foreigner and I'm told that Suffolk people were stand-offish, difficult to get to know and you'd be a foreigner for years.
[144] I think you know and I know that this is just not true!
[145] They are extremely loyal friends and
(K66PSUGP) [clapping]
(K66PSUNK) [146] I count it a double honour to represent Framlingham this afternoon and to offer you a welcome ... back, a welcome into our homes which we look forward to seeing you on Saturday and we are so thrilled to think that so many of you have made the journey back to visit us and I echo the sentiments of another speaker, don't let it be so long before you come again.
[147] Do enjoy your stay and as John says, please ask us, we're here to help, we're here to show you round.
[148] Welcome and thank you for inviting me to your ceremony.
(K66PSUGP) [clapping]
(K66PSUNK) [149] Thank you Martin, ladies and gentlemen.
[150] It's certainly a, a day of reflection an and great appreciation on a part of all of us, the reason we're here er for me, personally, I need to back up for a moment perhaps.
[151] I don't think we Americans are particularly known for our sense of humility.
[152] Er certainly pilots of any measure are seldom known for their sense of humility.
[153] Commanding Generals rarely are known for their sense humility.
[154] [laugh] You need to understand that I have, as we watch the RAF ... [plane overhead] [...] a beautiful aeroplane, er Colonel and I just exchanged a thought on it.
[155] It reminds us in lines and capability er not unlike the er Mosquito of, of the fame of er and times of World War Two, a very clean, a very highly effective aeroplane.
[156] But this er American pilot, Commanding General, stands before this group with a great sense of humility and a, a sense of great honour, recognizing the only reason I'm here is because I have to be the Commanding General.
[157] A day of reflection and appreciation, certainly to the living and the dead members of the famous Three-Ninetieth Group and most certainly to our, our very close and dear friends the British people have shown this sort of involvement and appreciation in memory of, of those times and sacrifices.
[158] We've heard a little bit of, about the Three-Ninetieth Group and we could go on and on because it certainly is indeed er historic organization.
[159] But I'm told on this day, May thirteenth, thirty seven years ago, and that should bring back a lot of memories for many of you, the Three-Ninetieth flew its hundred and fifth combat mission from this station and many of you remember that day.
[160] It was to [...] in Germany.
[161] This time you hit railwa railroad er marshalling [...] .
[162] You led the Thirteenth Combat Wing with your twenty seven aircraft and suffered er no losses.
[163] That was a fortunate day for you.
[164] You know all too well that other days had their heavy toll indeed.
[165] This plaque and this tower and museum, we have dedicated it as a memorial to those days when you suffered severely yet still struck your targets.
[166] The Three- Ninetieth had a reputation on the record that enemy fighters never forced you to turn back and that's some special form of courage.
[167] I think I'd like to make two quick points relating to the [...] Three-Ninetieth Bombardment Group.
[168] Regarding your beginnings, you were born in battle on August ni eighth, nineteen forty three.
[169] No [...] occupied France but a target into Germany.
[170] A week and a half later you struck Ragansberg and shuttled to Africa.
[171] On the, this your third mission you won a distinguished unit citation which has been pointed out.
[172] That day was the one year anniversary of, of Eighth Air Force operations in England.
[173] From the humble beginnings of the previous year you flew the first great test of concept of long-range strategic bombardment.
[174] [plane overhead] It was a test that the Three-Ninetieth passed with flying colours destroying thirteen enemy aircraft and achieving excellent bombing results.
[175] Three hundred and one missions.
[176] Nine thousand, three hundred and thirty one sorties and a year and a half later, you flew your last mission on the twentieth of April, nineteen forty five, from this field.
[177] [plane overhead] Everyone of, who was alive during that day still remembers it vividly, the day of the last mission.
[178] I am sure of, many of you ground and air crew members of the Three-Ninetieth, as well as the local citizenry remember what was happening on this very spot.
[179] In celebration, I'm told you shot off every flare you could get your hands on.
(K66PSUGP) [laugh]
(K66PSUNK) [180] Er probably the U S Government's still paying for all those flares
(K66PSUGP) [laugh]
(K66PSUNK) [181] I am told the sky was brilliant and alive with red and green and white flares.
[182] To the citizens of England and the rest of the free world the sky will, will remain bright indeed for what you men have done and your fellows had done.
[183] The flares you fired thirty six years ago are still burning brightly today, for in that time we have not had a world war.
[184] That is probably the greatest testimonial to you and your comrades.
[185] Those flares you fired for the war you ended are still burning for the peace that you won.
[186] With your mission you pr proved that air power can strike any target on the globe.
[187] That cap capability has been carried on by our own Airforce and indeed the Royal Airforce and our fellow partners in, in NATO.
[188] And it has deterred any potential aggressor for the last three decades.
[189] You not only the, won the peace for your generation but for your sons and your daughters and your grandsons and granddaughters.
[190] Your efforts have to be one of the most remarkable achievements of mankind.
[191] In the American Cemetery near Cambridge, England there is an inscription over the Great Wall which lists the men missing in action.
[192] A portion of that inscription serves us well today and it reads and I quote [reading] all who shall hereafter live in freedom will be here reminded that to these men and their comrades we owe a debt to be paid with grateful remembrance of their sacrifice and with a high resolve that the cause for which they died will live eternally [] .
[193] We do owe a debt to be paid with grateful remembrance of the sacrifices you and your comrades made.
[194] We owe another debt to the local English citizens who have restored and revitalized this building as a tangible memorial to those men.
[195] To the Englishmen who have used their time and talents to restore this control tower, we are most grateful.
[196] Because of you the cause for which the men of the Eighth Air Force paid the elemental price shall live eternally and may we all pray that may our kinship ever be preserved between these two great nations.
[197] Thank you.
(K66PSUGP) [clapping]
(K66PSUNK) [198] [...] for a very gentleman.
[199] This gentleman has the silver [...] four distinguished flying crosses, the bronze star, eight air medals, the French [...] and the Polish cross of the
(K66PSUNK) [200] Underbound Army Our own fighting Colonel Joseph
(K66PSUGP) [clapping]
(K66PSUNK) [201] I have a one-liner I would like to try.
[202] At this sort of a reunion, one looks to another and says I don't look sixty, do I?
(K66PSUGP) [laugh]
(K66PSUNK) [203] And the other says no, but you did when you were.
(K66PSUGP) [laugh]
(K66PSUNK) [204] You know, the tower ... the tower was the focal point.
[205] It was almost easier to fly a mission than it was to come out here and sweat the boys back in.
[206] And this is the sweat box for every commanding officer, every squadron commander, operations officer and even a group commander.
[207] Pounds, gallons, tons of sweat are in that building and on the roof.
[208] Everything that's been said about it, I would like to simply say, we owe a great debt of gratitude to our English friends for preserving our heritage of the past.
[209] We who flew in the past here, sincerely thank you.
[210] I'd like to pause just a moment and talk about the future.
[211] You see these young men here.
[212] Those of us who have fought [plane overhead] those of us who have fought still have one job we can do and that is to see that the military capability of the United States is such that no potential aggressor will ever dare attack us.
[213] We must build armaments, military strength and that is the way to peace.
[214] I leave you with that thought because I think that's the job for all of us old pilots.
[215] Lastly, I would simply say that for weeks before the war was over, General whom I would like to call your attention to, was an Operations Officer and during the night when we were laying on missions we'd say to each other, when this thing's over we're gonna get stinking drunk.
(K66PSUGP) [laugh]
(K66PSUNK) [216] And the night that it was over we met in our quarters, we poured a drink and we stood there and looked at each other and he said well, we made it.
[217] We drank the drink and both of us went to bed and sleep.
(K66PSUGP) [laugh]
(K66PSUNK) [218] I have a telegram I would like to read from Colonel George ... which we have received.
[219] George, unfortunately, had a heart attack a few weeks ago.
[220] [reading] Please convey my best wishes to all members and guests of the Three-Ninetieth Bomb Group on the occasion of this [] [plane overhead] the thought comes I'd rather be up there than down here, wouldn't you?
(K66PSUGP) [laugh]
(K66PSUNK) [221] I'll start again so you'll get his thought.
[222] [laugh] [reading] Please convey my best wishes to all members and guests of the Three-Nen Ninetieth Bomb Group on the occasion of the anniversary of the dedication of the flight tower.
[223] I still feel a sense of pride at having been a member of the Three-Ninetieth.
[224] I deeply regret my being unable to be with you and to join the memorial service and the dedication together with the related activities.
[225] Signed George []
(K66PSUGP) [...] [clapping]
(K66PSUNK) [226] We have a few mementoes I am sure you will agree are richly deserved.
[227] I would like to first call, in alphabetical order, Robert
(K66PSUNK) [228] Erm Colonel has supported very actively the current Three-Ninetieth Missile Wing like he supported us and he is respectfully known to them as Uncle Joe.
[229] Er he actively supports them, he attends er attends a lot of their missile competitions out at [...] Air Force base.
[230] Er he gives them a lot of moral support and in their blast off parties when they're ready to go out and conduct the missile competition, er he really stirs the pot and gets the guys moving.
[231] Er, in addition if you were to walk into the headquarters there today, in their trophy case the largest and most prestigious trophy is the Moller trophy.
[232] Not too long ago, Colonel and a new present commander of the Three-Ninetieth Strategic Missile Wing [...] agreed to establish a memorial, a heritage programme between the Bomb Group veterans and the Strategic Missile Wing people erm hopefully for a long time to come.
[233] Such a programme is under way and consists basically of the establishment of a memorial air museum at [...] Air Force er a procurement of a B-Seventeen G, which has already been done, a flyable B-Seventeen G and the establishment of a foundation.
[234] Er all this takes a lot of effort on a lot of people's parts and we're very fortunate today to have three of the professional men who are doing the bulk of the work present with us and their wives.
[235] Er I would like them to come up, gentlemen.
[236] Captain Geoff is the overall co-ordinator er not only for the procurement, er missile procurement of the B-Seventeen, but he's put the foundation together and he's going to be a curator of the museum.
[237] And if you recall when my Colonel read John plaque it attributes to him er the aid in assisting us at [...] in the establishment of that memorial museum, John gave us a [...] er and sort of took that apart and hauled it over to [...] and it was flown back to the States and that's going to be a briefing operations room for the museum itself.
[238] Er so Geoff has really put all that together fr er and Seth Captain Seth is the Titan One Project Officer for the memorial and would you believe it or not, he's already ha secured a Titan missile and two rocket engines for it.
(K66PSUGP) [laugh]
(K66PSUNK) [239] And er Lieutenant Les is doing all the work on the B- Seventeen, the restoration of it and we're going to have a reunion.
[240] Our next reunion is March, eleventh through the fourteenth in Tucsan, Arizona and not only will we dedicate the museum at that time but er Les assures me he's gonna have the airplane ready done, be er flown again with a [...] .
[241] Er these gentlemen have a presentation to make and I wonder if Ron would come up here for a moment, please.
[242] Geoff.
(K66PSUNK) [243] Strategic Missile Wing, one of [...] finest, we feel.
[244] I'd like to present on behalf of Colonel centre, a plaque from all of us at the Three-Ninetieth at D M [...] Museum.
[245] I'd like to read its inscription.
(K66PSUNK) [246] [praying] We pray that by the efforts of our armed forces and our statesmen there may be peace.
[247] But we remember that that peace can only be maintained while we have our statesmen and perhaps even more important, our armed forces.
[248] In the name of God Almighty, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, we dedicate this museum to the memory of all those of the Eighth Army Air Force who served in the Second War and in our dedication, we pray to Almighty God that there may be no third.
[249] Amen [] .
[250] I will now ask the Rector of Framlingham for the closing prayer.
(K66PSUNK) [251] In the order of events this afternoon you see part of Psalm one hundred and three printed there which is part of the commendation at the occasion of the funerals of the departed.
[252] And so in memory of all those men who did not return to this base, we dedicate them to the keeping of Almighty God we read these verses together.
[253] [praying] Like as a father pitieth his own children, even so is the Lord merciful unto them that fear him for he knows whereof we are made.
[254] He remembereth that we are but dust, the days of man are but grass for he flourishes as a flower of the field, for as soon as the wind goes over it, it is gone and the [...] thereof shall know it no more.
[255] [plane overhead] But the merciful goodness of the Lord endureth for ever and ever upon men that [...] and his righteousness [...] Joy be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost.
[256] As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be world without end.
[257] Amen [] .
[258] Finally as a prayer which men and women of every faith can say, the Lord's Prayer.
[259] [praying] Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
[260] Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.
[261] And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil for thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, for ever and ever, Amen.
[262] The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
[263] Amen [] .
(K66PSUNK) [264] that last prayer concluded the dedication of the Three- Ninetieth Bomb Group Memorial Air Museum at Parham Airfield.
[265] At er approaching the er six o'clock er that same evening er ... B- Seventeen Flying Fortress performed er a very impressive flypast er and the cameras of Anglia Television, the er local television company in the East Anglian region were there to cover the ceremony and also the flypast.
[266] Er on the following day, the er programme featuring the memorial er dedication and er flypast were shown on Anglia Television.
[267] Here is that coverage by that company.
(K66PSUNK) [268] [recording being played] Many reunions of the men who flew to the airfield [...] all over East Anglia, but yesterday saw the biggest ever get-together of combat airmen in Britain.
[269] It took place at the former American base at Parham in Suffolk.
[270] Veterans had gathered to celebrate the reopening of the base control tower which had stood derelict for over thirty years.
[271] was there.
[272] They came from all over America the men of the Three Hundred and Ninetieth Bombardment Group, one of the most decorated and acclaimed sections of America's wartime military machines.
[273] For many this was the first time they'd been back to Parham in thirty six years.
[274] It was a nostalgic occasion, made even more emotional by the memory of the fifteen hundred men who flew from here never to return.
[275] Now the control tower of this famous wartime airfield has been restored by local enthusiasts who form the Three Hundred and Ninetieth Memorial Air Museum.
[276] A visit reminds you of Parham's illustrious past when even Glenn Miller used to play here. [music]
(K66PSUNK) [277] I, I would say that my most vivid memory would be the erm thought that we were erm came here as just young flying boys.
[278] I was a flying boy, came in here and all of a sudden was involved in an operation that, that was er quite intense erm the, the noise of the aircraft erm the erm hustle and bustle that we went through, the, the briefings and the er experience of, of erm having a meal that could've been your last meal.
[279] What was life like here back in forty three, forty four, was it a depressing place to be?
[280] A twenty two year old young fellow with a [...] .
(K66PSUNK) [281] This is Lieutenant Colonel Dick speaking.
[282] The last voice you heard was Andy
(K66PSUNK) [283] I think I [...] previously I think it was just a [...] I needed Mama.
[284] I got my wings and I'm gonna do my share, but as I got almost two years here, I found myself worrying about some poor tailgunner that wasn't feeling well as he went on the airplane.
[285] The airplane went down [...]
(K66PSUNK) [286] You flew a total of forty three missions it says here.
(K66PSUNK) [287] Correct, forty three missions.
[288] I flew two tours.
[289] Two, first one and then one other.
(K66PSUNK) [290] So you're lucky to be here?
(K66PSUNK) [291] So they say.
(K66PSUNK) [292] After a flypast of more modern military life it was down to the business of unveiling the plaque which commemorates the role of the Three Hundred and Ninetieth.
[293] For some the occasion was a moving reminder of fallen friends, of youthful bravado that often ended in tragedy.
[294] The Missing Man formation demonstrated here by the A Ten based at nearby Bentwaters, was often a daily sight when Parham was fully operational from nineteen forty three to forty five.
(K66PSUNK) [295] Coming in from the South we now have a welcome from the RAF.
(K66PSUNK) [296] And if recent reports are anything to go by it wasn't only aircraft which were paying their respects to Parham yesterday.
(K66PSUNK) [297] I personally came one morning and erm [...] the building up [...]
(K66PSUNK) [298] This is Ron the Museum organizer
(K66PSUNK) [299] I smelt fresh cigar smoke and I called out like you normally would to anybody there and no er reply so I searched all round the building, not a soul in sight but there was this distinct smell of cigar smoke and my colleague er Mr Martin he had an experience er a year or two after he joined us.
[300] One morning he also opened up the building, went upstairs and came down and there was these fresh footprints on a part of the building which he hadn't been at that time and he, like myself, looked all over the building and not a soul in sight.
[301] And on a er visit to a museum a few weeks later he also discovered flying boots of exact prints he'd seen on the wet floor.
(K66PSUNK) [302] But the most evocative sight at Parham yesterday was the return of the B-Seventeen Flying Fortress which was based there during the war.
[303] It had been specially flown in from Duxford Air Museum in Cambridgeshire and for the veterans and locals of Parham it was a picture they'll never forget. [music] [end of recording]