B-17 Memorial 21-9-19

On Saturday the 21st September 2019, three members of the Hornchurch Aerodrome Historical Trust attended a wreath laying ceremony at the Memorial bench in West Horndon Park, followed by a church service of Commemoration and Thanksgiving at St Francis Church in West Horndon, this was to remember the 76th Anniversary of this tragic accident that occurred on the 26th September 1943, when twenty USAAF men lost their lives when two B-17’s collided in mid-air over Horndon after returning from an aborted bombing mission. Both of these beautiful services were led by the Reverend Stuart Hull.

Many local residents also attended both of the services, as well as the pilgrimage to the crash site of the B-17 ‘Raunchy Wolf’

Representatives from the U.S. Air Force were there including Lt. Col. Ian Slazinik commander of the 351st Air Refuelling Squadron and Chaplin (Capt.) Arkadiusz Szyda.

Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant of Essex, Mrs Jennifer Tolhurst, Standards from the Royal British Legion, cadets from 1483 (Brentwood) ATC Squadron along with a contingent from the Essex Police cadets and last but not least Mr. Roger Pickett from The Essex Fire Museum in Grays, he brought along some artefacts from the B-17 dig sites.

Crash site of B-17
Lt Col Ian Slazinik commander of the 351st
Lord Lieutenant of Essex
Salute next to memorial bench
Small display on show
Memorial bench
Relics from the dig
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