US officer dried hands on curtains

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I HAVE always had a keen interest in the American military and their involvment in the Second World War.

For instance, I have been to several bases that the American Army Air force were allocated during their stay from 1942/1945.

However, the one thing that sticks out in my mind is the tragic air crash at Endcliffe Park in 1944 when bravely they tried to make a landing in that park.

The locals said at the time that as they came over Rustlings Road the crew saw children playing so they tried to abort the landing but sadly the plane lost height and crashed into the trees.

Witnesses said they saw through the Plexiglas the men still alive but it was the fuel factor that sadly finished them off.

Now, going back to your question, as far as I can tell you the Americans did not have a base in this city, but the nearest was a fighter base at Goxhill in north Lincolnshire.

It may be that some did in fact come to Sheffield.

My late mother, who was in the family fruit business in the Norfolk Market, saw quite a few Americans coming round the market.

You would notice them right away. They were bigger and, may I say it, fatter than the locals.

She said when they made a purchase they were always well-manered and polite.

My uncle Frank said that he would see their Jeeps and trucks coming and going on Glossop Road, maybe to Manchester and Warrington, where they had a big Army base (They didn’t relinquish that base until 1955).

Also my late father told me that American officers would frequent the Grand Hotel and he bought an unusual watch from one officer.

The sister of my mum’s friend got married to an officer and he used to bring from the airbase somewhere off the A1 tins of all sorts of commodities.

The car was an American Dodge and he would a load of stuff from their PX stores.

I always remember him when he had washed his hands and face he would use the curtains as a towel

I could never understand that.

Mike Jackson

* J Fletcher’s email address appeared in the paper in a mangled form on Saturday. So, if you have any memories of US servicemen, please send them to Fletcherjamm@aol.com