War memorial bid for American fighter group

PUBLISHED: 14:31 15 March 2006 | UPDATED: 14:36 12 May 2010

Malcolm Osborn and Russell Abbey at the 398 Bomber Group memorial

Malcolm Osborn and Russell Abbey at the 398 Bomber Group memorial

ENTHUSIASTS are raising money for a second memorial at a Second World War airfield. The Nuthampstead Airfield Research Society is planning a permanent memorial to the 38 men of the USAAF's 55th Fighter Group, who died while serving at Nuthampstead from Se

ENTHUSIASTS are raising money for a second memorial at a Second World War airfield. The Nuthampstead Airfield Research Society is planning a permanent memorial to the 38 men of the USAAF's 55th Fighter Group, who died while serving at Nuthampstead from September 1943-April 1944. Russell Abbey, of the society, said: "There were two groups of Americans who served at Nuthampstead airfield during the war - the 398 Bomber Group and the 55th Fighter Group. "The 398 Bomber Group already has an impressive memorial so we're trying to even up the balance and remember the other guys as well." The American Battlefields Monuments Commission has approved the design, but the society still needs additional funds to help pay for the £4,000 memorial, and its continued maintenance, which is a stipulation of the commission. So far the society has received donations from America and the UK. And the 398 Bomber Group, which has the existing memorial at the airfield has loaned the group £1,200 for the memorial. The 398 Bomber Group and the 55th Fighter Group will meet for the first time on June 3 when the memorial is expected to be unveiled. Mr Abbey said: "The groups have not met up until now because there's only been one memorial. "However, it will be the last time the veterans visit Nuthampstead because they are getting so old." The society is producing a booklet about the airfield which should be available in May from the Manor House in Buntingford and the Woodman Inn public house in Nuthampstead. The airfield will also feature in a booklet called Wartime Memories which is being produced by Mark Dell, Buntingford's town centre manager. If anyone would like to make a donation to the society for the memorial, e-mail Mr Abbey or Mr Osbourn at fiftyfifth@hotmail.co.uk or visit www.55th.org

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