How the Mi Amigo flypast over Sheffield’s Endcliffe Park hit the headlines across the world

The flypast over Sheffield to honour the crew of an American bomber that crashed in the city has made headlines across the world.

Sunday, 24th February 2019, 14:28 pm
Updated Sunday, 24th February 2019, 14:32 pm

The spotlight was firmly on the Steel City on Friday as military aircraft roared overhead to mark 75 years since the badly damaged B-17 Flying Fortress, known as Mi Amigo, crash into Endcliffe Park, killing all 10 crewmen on board.  

The Mi Amigo crew.

One special spectator on the day was Sheffield pensioner Tony Foulds, who witnessed the crash on February 22 1944 when he was just a schoolboy aged eight. 

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The aircraft had completed a daring day time raid on the Aalborg airfield in occupied Denmark but was hit in the attack and limped back over the North Sea before its engines started to fail over Sheffield.   

It is believed the crew was attempting to make an emergency landing on the park field – but when they spotted Tony and his friends they diverted and crashed into a nearby wooded area to avoid landing on them. 

Fox News coverage.

The emotive story has been picked up and run by national newspapers and media organisations across the UK, and it has also been picked up  overseas, particularly in America.

The 10 crewmen were from all four corners of the US and media organisations in many states have run with the story, including the Washington Post, Chicago Tribune and St. Louis Post-Dispatch. 

Major TV networks such as Fox News and CBS have also featured it. 

Washington Post coverage.

CBS correspondent Mark Phillips, who visited the park recently to film scenes for their coverage, explained why the story has gained such widespread attention.

He said: “I must have done over 100 stories about the Second World War over the last four decades and this is the first time I have heard of this one.

“When you think of the sacrifice the airmen made, and then you have a character like Tony aswell in the middle of it, then it makes for an incredible story.”

There are now growing calls for Tony, aged 82, of Lowedges, to receive an MBE for ‘services to remembrance’ as he has tended to a park memorial to the Mi Amigo crew for the best part of seven decades.  

Tony Foulds, 82, watches from Endcliffe Park in Sheffield, as warplanes from Britain and the United States stage a flypast tribute to ten US airmen 75 years after he witnessed the crash that killed them. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday February 22, 2019. Mr Foulds, has spent much of his life treating a memorial to the airmen whose plane crashed in front of him as he played in Endcliffe Park in Sheffield on February 22 1944. See PA story MEMORIAL Flypast. Photo credit should read: Danny Lawson/PA Wire