Saluting the heroic crew of Mi Amigo

Memorial and wreath laying service at Endcliffe Park to the crew of the Flying Fortress that crashed there
Memorial and wreath laying service at Endcliffe Park to the crew of the Flying Fortress that crashed there
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DOZENS gathered in Endcliffe Park for an annual memorial service to remember the young airmen killed in a wartime air disaster when their plane crashed in the city.

Wreaths were laid in honour of the 10 US airmen killed in the Mi Amigo crash on February 22 1944 at the memorial site within the park.

Memorial and wreath laying service at Endcliffe Park to the crew of the Flying Fortress that crashed there

Memorial and wreath laying service at Endcliffe Park to the crew of the Flying Fortress that crashed there

The moving event was followed by a service at St Augustine’s Church on Brocco Bank attended by Lord Mayor Coun Alan Law, the Lord Lieutenant of South Yorkshire and the High Sheriff.

The base commander from RAF Menwith Hill and personnel from the USA Air Force were also guests, along with members of the public.

The occasion is particularly poignant each year for the family of the late Arthur Needham - who was aged just 11 at the time of the crash. He attempted to rescue an airman from the wreckage of the B17 Flying Fortress.

The Fortress was shot down after a bombing raid over Denmark before limping home across the North Sea and coming down in Sheffield.

The smouldering wreckage  of the Mi Amigo in Endcliffe Park, Sheffield

The smouldering wreckage of the Mi Amigo in Endcliffe Park, Sheffield

Arthur’s sister Jean Collier, from Richmond, said: “Arthur was close by in Endcliffe Park when the plane crashed as he was on his way home after finishing his paper round.

“When he approached the plane, an aircrew member called to him for help and he gripped his hand in an attempt to pull him out of the burning plane and would not let go.

“He told me the man had a ring on his finger and it nearly came off while he was pulling, but someone dragged our Arthur away from the plane because it was unsafe.

“When he got home my mum was cross and upset because his hair was singed and his clothes were scorched.

Memorial and wreath laying service at Endcliffe Park to the crew of the Flying Fortress that crashed there

Memorial and wreath laying service at Endcliffe Park to the crew of the Flying Fortress that crashed there

“But when mum was told the whole story of what had happened she was very proud that her son had tried his best to help.”

Arthur’s son Paul Needham added: “I think it’s great that they organise this memorial - it seems to have got bigger and bigger each year and I think it’s very important to remember what happened.”