LOCAL HISTORY SECTION
Reg Yorke -
It was just after 12 noon on Saturday 25th of October that Tony Bonney and I arrived at Segar’s farm just off the coast road at Ainsdale to meet Mrs Joan Braid, now in her 80s, brought up on the farm and still living there, the only surviving witness to the disastrous B 24 Liberator crash which occurred on a misty day as she came home from school for lunch exactly 70 years ago.
Before going out onto the now uncultivated fields on the periphery of the old farmstead we looked at her scrapbook of newspaper cuttings and communications from American relatives of the seven American airmen who lost their lives that day returning for a period of rest and recuperation. They were all on their way home after flying together a total of more than 370 missions,
After a chat we made our way to the fence now separating the farm from the airfield, now grown wild and rough, though the farmland, though rather poor and sandy, had once been productive until taken over by the RAF for the creation of the airfield at the beginning of World War II. With previous permission from the RAF we negotiated the barbed wire and made our way through hummocky overgrown grassland to the exact site of the crash. Mrs Braid was able to describe as a ten year old on this day at 12.50 pm exactly seventy years ago, seeing an American B24 Liberator approaching at a low level from the north-
The incident seems to have been covered up by the US military for a long time and it was only 17 years ago that the relevant documents were declassified. It is now considered that this was arguably the most tragic non-
With the approach of November 11th, it occurs to us that it would be appropriate for there to be some sort of simple memorial erected to the many RAF personnel, stationed at Woodvale, who lost their lives with the RAF during WW2. Few of the present-
In memory of Ron Tompkins, brother of co-