The Crowborough branch of the Royal British Legion are raising funds for a memorial to remember the crew of an American bomber that crashed in Crowborough during World War II.
75th anniversary in 2019
The Marauder Bomber, named “Hell’s Belle”, came down on what was then farmland behind the The Bricklayers Arms on the 26th of January 1944. The pub was therefore the most appropriate venue to start the fundraising appeal for £3,000. Members of the British Legion were joined by the Mayor and Deputy Mayor of Crowborough.
The aircraft part of the US Army Air Force’s 386th Bomb Group based at Great Dunmow in Essex, was returning from an aborted mission to destroy one of the launch sites of the German Luftwaffe’s flying bombs. Poor viability and ice forming on the fuselage caused the crash.
It is hoped to unveil the memorial next January to mark the 75th anniversary of the crash.
We felt it important that the sacrifice made by the aircrew should be remembered.I think this is a very fitting salute to an aircrew who had set out in dreadful weather to bomb a ‘V’ weapons site, iced up and crashed on their return, killing all on board.
There is a similar memorial for Flight Lieutenant Eugene Seghers at the Highlands Inn in Uckfield.