Song produced in honour of tragic Mi Amigo crew and Sheffield pensioner Tony Foulds
The story of how pensioner Tony Foulds has dedicated years of his life to honouring the memory of the victims of a wartime plane crash in Sheffield has captured the hearts of the nation.
Tony was only a young boy when he witnessed the badly damaged B-17 Flying Fortress, known as Mi Amigo, crash into Endcliffe Park in 1944, killing all 10 crewmen on board.
The 83-year-old has spent many years tending to a memorial dedicated to the airmen and successfully campaigned for a military flypast that was watched by thousands of people in the park, and millions more live on TV, in February to mark 75 years since the tragedy.
The story has touched many people, including songwriting duo Rod Barry and Ian Jenkins, who have now penned a song on the tragedy called 'Don't Weep Mi Amigo'.
Mr Barry said he was “very moved” by the incident and Tony's efforts to keep their memory alive.
The 73-year-old Rochdale entertainer added: “I approached the lyrics as a message to Tony from the bomber crew, Ian wrote the music in the style of the period, using chords from the beautiful Glen Miller composition Moonlight Serenade.”
In reference to Tony witnessing the crash, part of the song goes: “One little boy, his innocence gone, still fells the pain these many years on.
“He stood alone as we tried to land. It wasn't his fault, fate took a hand.”
He added that they have completed a demo of the song and have approached the United States Air Force base at RAF Lakenhealth to ask if the military band and choir would like to be involved in recording it professionally.
They are waiting to hear back on the request.
Mr Barry added: “We hope that it brings him some comfort in his later years.”
Tony, a Lowedges grandfather-of-four, said: “The song is brilliant, it had me in tears.”
The Mi Amigo 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.
It is believed the crew was attempting to make an emergency landing on the field – but when they spotted Tony and his friends on the grass they diverted and crashed into a nearby wooded area to avoid landing on them.
The pilot, lieutenant John Kriegshauser was awarded a posthumous Distinguished Flying Cross for minimising loss of life.
Their ultimate sacrifice left Tony with feelings of deep-seated guilt and he has visited the scene and tended to the memorial regularly ever since.