November 2023

Pathfinder Memorial Unveiled

A  memorial commemorating the lives of 13 American airmen, four civilians, all Suffolk men and their working horse killed in 1943 has been unveiled 80 years to the day and time when the tragic accident happened and a B-17 Flying Fortress crashed at Brome.

Bawdsey Radar were honoured to join family members, representatives from RAF Alconbury and Mildenhall and associated organisations, Suffolk Punch Trust and an honour guard at the memorial service and unveiling.

Family members travelled from across the region and from the United States to represent and remember their relatives lost in the crash and to view the memorial inscribed with the names and the story of that tragic day in 1943.

On 10th November 1943, a USAF B-17 Pathfinder Flying Fortress crasehd at Brome, near Eye in Suffolk.  The aircraft had been fitted with ground-scanning radar called HS2 at RAF Defford by the Telecommunications Research Establishment (TRE).

The B-17 was the first four-engine American Pathfinder bomber fitted with this type of radar.  The B-17 crew were heading back to their home base at RAF Alconbury after taking off from Thorpe Abbots in Norfolk, when a cockpit fire broke out.  The crew attempted an emergency landing at Eye, but tragically the aircraft crashed with the loss of all crew members and four civilian workers plus a working horse.

The memorial has been built in the ground of Oaksmere Country House Hotel, Brome near Eye in Suffolk, opposite the field where the crashed happened in 1943.

Photo  ©Wendy Aitken Photography
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Pathfinder Memorial Unveiled