Tributes to hero airmen killed in WW2 park crash

Members of the 451st Intelligence Squadron based at RAF Menwith Hill join sheffield locals and members of the Royal Airforce Association to lay wreathes on the anniversary of the Crash of Mi Amigo, a USAAF flying fortress which crashed in Endcliff Park park on the 22 February 1944 killing all 10 Crewmen onboard.''www.pauldaviddrabble.co.uk''19th February 2012 -  Image � Paul David Drabble
Members of the 451st Intelligence Squadron based at RAF Menwith Hill join sheffield locals and members of the Royal Airforce Association to lay wreathes on the anniversary of the Crash of Mi Amigo, a USAAF flying fortress which crashed in Endcliff Park park on the 22 February 1944 killing all 10 Crewmen onboard.''www.pauldaviddrabble.co.uk''19th February 2012 - Image � Paul David Drabble
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HEADS were bowed as tributes were paid to brave American airmen whose plane crashed in a Sheffield park in World War Two.

A wreath was laid at the memorial site in Sheffield’s Endcliffe Park as part of annual commemorations of the crew of the Mi Amigo Flying Fortress which crashed nearby almost 70 years ago.

Those attending included USAAF personnel and base commander from RAF Menwith Hill in North Yorkshire, Sheffield’s Lord Mayor Coun Sylvia Dunkley and Lord Lieutenant of South Yorkshire David Moody.

Members of the Sheffield branch of the RAF Association also attended, including event organiser Rev Gordon Unsworth.

He said the wreath laying and memorial service in nearby St Augustine’s Church in Brocco Bank were not just about the 10 Mi Amigo crew.

“It is also about the thousands of American airmen who died during the Second World War in the skies over Europe,” Rev Unsworth said.

The loss of the Mi Amigo on February 22, 1944 was part of a major pre-D Day air offensive against German aircraft factories known as The Big Week.

Mi Amigo was sent to attack a Luftwaffe airbase in northern Denmark but was badly damaged, limping home across the North Sea and coming down in Sheffield, many miles from the plane’s home base in Northamptonshire.

A memorial stone was placed in the park in 1966 and the anniversary has been honoured ever since.