Memorial to the crew of the “Hell’s Belle”

This morning a memorial was unveiled for the crew of an American bomber that crashed in Crowborough during World War II.

Seventy-five years ago today on the 26th of January 1944, a Marauder Bomber, named “Hell’s Belle”, came down behind The Bricklayers Arms.

The aircraft 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.  The pilots skillfully avoided any houses crashing on farmland near to what is now Southridge Rise.

During his speech, the Mayor of Crowborough, Councillor Greg Rose said:

It is an honour and a pleasure to be here today to witness the unveiling of this memorial plaque.

It is absolutely right, that we as a town, recognise the sacrifice that these young American men made for our freedom.  And on behalf of the people of Crowborough, I’d like to thank the Crowborough branch of the Royal British Legion, and all those that made this possible and donated, because I know a lot of the residents in the estate behind contributed to this memorial, for  their dedication time and effort put into delivering this project.

I’d also like to thank the Deputy Lord Lieutenant and the Colonel for joining us today today marking the crew of the Hell’s Belle and ensure they will never be forgotten in Crowborough.

Click to listen to the speeches from the Deputy Lord Lieutenant of East Sussex, the US Air Force Attaché and the Mayor:

Hell’s Belle

Unveiling of the memorial by the Deputy Lord Lieutenant of East Sussex Colonel Anthony Lamb MBE DL VR (with Chairman of the Crowborough Branch Royal British Legion Nigel Allison).

 

Mayor Cllr Greg Rose laying a wreath

Lieutenant Colonel James Gingras, Assistant Air Attaché for the U.S. Embassy in London

Speech by Deputy Lord Lieutenant of East Sussex Colonel Anthony Lamb MBE DL VR

For further information please see the Crowborough RBL Branch’s Facebook page.

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