A flypast will roar over the skies of Sheffield to mark 75 years since an American bomber crashed into a city park – and US President Donald Trump has been invited to attend.
All 10 crew on board the badly damaged B-17 Flying Fortress, known as Mi Amigo, were killed when it plummeted from the skies and crashed into Endcliffe Park in 1944.
Pensioner Tony Foulds, who was one of a group of school children to witness the tragedy and has been diligently tending to a memorial for several decades, called for a military flypast to commemorate the 75th anniversary on February 22.
After thousands of people got behind the campaign on Twitter, the Royal Air Force and United States Air Force announced this morning that his wish has been granted and aircraft will be flying over the park.
And there could also be a very high profile visitor.
The news of the flypast was relayed to Mr Foulds during an appearance on BBC Breakfast in which the US Ambassador Woody Johnson revealed President Trump could soon be making a state visit to the UK.
Mr Foulds said President Trump is welcome to attend the flypast and added: “They can stay at my house. I have got a lot of bread and dripping for him.”
Ambassador Johnson replied: “You are in Sheffield, that is a perfect place to stay.”
Mr Foulds broke down in tears when USAF Colonel Will Marshall, broadcasting live from of RAF Lakenheath, told him: “It gives me great pleasure to say ‘look to the skies on February 22 for a very special flyby’.”
The Lowedges grandfather-of-four said: “That is everything I wanted. They (the Mi Amigo crew) will be smiling now.”
In a statement, the RAF said: “The RAF and USAF will be supporting the anniversary on February 22 with a flypast by RAF aircraft from RAF Coningsby and USAF aircraft from RAF Lakenheath and RAF Mildenhall.
“The flypast, weather dependent, is planned to be a fitting tribute to the ten US airmen who lost their lives, and whose selfless actions saved the lives of many others in Endcliffe Park.”
While the aircraft that are due to be involved have not been announced officially yet, The Star understands the airborne formation will consist of an F-15 fighter jet, plus Ospreys, Typhoons and a Dakota.
The Star first brought Mr Foulds’ story to the public’s wider attention last year.
It has hit the headlines again in recent weeks as tens of thousands of people have liked or retweeted the hashtag #GetTonyAFlypast from BBC presenter Dan Walker’s Twitter account.
The Mi Amigo aircraft was returning from an intended bombing raid over Europe in which it was left badly damaged after being attacked by the Luftwaffe.
The story goes that the crew was attempting to make an emergency landing on the field in the park.
But after witnessing a young Mr Foulds and his friends on the grass the aircraft instead diverted and crashed into trees nearby, killing all the crew.
The 82-year-old previously told how he has developed a deep-seated feeling of guilt over the crash, which prompted him to always ensure the memorial is maintained.