Man who witnessed US bomber crash into Sheffield park calls for flypast to mark 75 years since tragedy  

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A Sheffield pensioner who as a young boy witnessed a US bomber crash into a city park is calling for a flypast to help mark 75 years since the tragedy.  

All 10 crew on board the B-17 Flying Fortress, known as Mi Amigo, were killed when it plummeted from the skies and crashed into Endcliffe Park in 1944. 

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The badly damaged aircraft was returning from an intended bombing raid over Europe.

The story goes that the crew was attempting to make an emergency landing on the field in the park. 

However, a group of children were playing on the grass and the aircraft instead diverted and crashed into trees nearby.   

The Mi Amigo crew.

The Mi Amigo crew.

Tony Foulds was one of those kids playing that day who witnessed the tragedy and says he ‘owes everything’ to the brave airmen who lost their lives. 

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Now aged 82, he is calling for a flypast by the RAF or Red Arrows to be arranged to mark the 75th year anniversary on February 22. 

He said: “I can remember seeing the plane circling above and the airmen waving at us. But being young boys we just thought they were being friendly. Then it went over the trees and there was a huge explosion.

Tony Foulds.

Tony Foulds.

“It is only later in life that it dawned on me they were waving for us to get out of the way so they could land on the grass. They avoided us and I owe everything to them. I have had 75 years of life since then thanks to their brave actions. 

“A flypast would be a fitting way to remember them. It would be a very, very emotional moment.” 

Mr Foulds said he has contacted the Red Arrows about a possible flypast but has not yet received a response.  

He has also been in touch with staff at the Imperial War Museum Duxford in Cambridge to see if they could organise for another Flying Fortress that is still in operation to flypast. 

The wreckage of the Mi Amigo.

The wreckage of the Mi Amigo.

But he claims he was told the aircraft would not be able to do this this in winter time.  

His call for action has also been backed by BBC TV presenter and Sheffield resident Dan Walker, whom he met earlier this week in the park. 

A series of tweets using the hashtag #GetTonyAFlypast were liked more than 6000 times in a matter of hours.  

Dan said he has contacted the RAF and added: “Hopefully we can make something happen.”  

Mr Foulds told how he has developed a deep seated feeling of guilt over the crash and told how the stress of it has left him with a tremor in his hand. 

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Last year's service at the Mi Amigo memorial. Picture: Errol Edwards

Last year's service at the Mi Amigo memorial. Picture: Errol Edwards

He has revisited a memorial at the scene every week over the last several decades to tend to flowers and ensure the area is kept tidy. Mr Foulds also attends an annual memorial service. 

The grandfather-of-four, of Lowedges, said: “I am not in good health now but come rain or shine I will always go there because of what they did. 

“It means so much to me. They should never be forgotten.”