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Remembrance: Fairlop Heritage remembers those from the US

PUBLISHED: 15:00 09 November 2019

Lt. Jack Brandstatter  (front row on right) and his crew in 1945. Those with yellow dots were part of the crew who landed at Fairlop in 1944. Picture: David Martin

Lt. Jack Brandstatter (front row on right) and his crew in 1945. Those with yellow dots were part of the crew who landed at Fairlop in 1944. Picture: David Martin

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This year Fairlop Heritage is holding its 11th remembrance ceremony at Fairlop Waters Country Park, Barkingside, on Monday, November 11. All are welcome. David Martin explains

This year we remember those from USA, represented by Ellie Rudolph from Norwalk, Connecticut.

They are:

Lt Clayton Knight served with 44 Squadron - from Rochester, New York, shot down in France on October 5, 1918.

F/O Raimund Sanders Draper, 64 Squadron, lived mainly in Manhattan, New York. He deliberately crashed his Spitfire aircraft, to avoid hitting a school in Harold School. He was killed on March 24, 1943. The school still bears his name.

F/O John Worthington Harder, 64 Squadron, from New York, who was shot down on July 24, 1944,

F/Sgt Dorian Ledington, 64 Squadron, from Wichita, Kansas, believed killed in action on April 21, 1945.

We remember the unplanned American visitors.

You may also want to watch:

October 17, 1944. A Dakota piloted by Lt Eagle and Lt King with a crew of two, forced to land at Fairlop due to bad weather.

November 3, 1944. A P51 Mustang returning from Brussels piloted by F/Sgt NV Shannon made a forced landing owing to fog.

December 12, 1944. Returning at dusk after a raid, a B17 Flying Fortress flying up the River Thames towards London, became lost and by chance saw Fairlop's runways. They landed without warning nor runway lights with ten minutes of fuel remaining.

The crew were: Capt William Scott, 1/Lt Jack Brandstatter, 2/Lt Bill Frankhouser, Capt William P Campbell, T/Sgt Johnny Muir, T/Sgt John S Bourquin, S/Sgt James A Humbert, S/Sgt Floyd A Lynch and S/Sgt Irving Zuckerman.

On take-off a few days later, it reached the runway end, before becoming unstuck and with flames from exhausts, just cleared the factories in Forest Road.

December 24, 1944. A B17 Flying Fortress captained by Lt PH Donohue was forced to land due to engine trouble. The crew of nine were entertained during the Christmas festivities.

The Boeing Handbook states that at its lightest weight a B17 Flying Fortress needs an absolute minimum of 1,800 yards (1.64kms) to lift off. The longest runway at Fairlop was 1,600 yards (1.46kms). The USAAF must have worked hard to get them airborne.

Meet in the Boathouse from 10.30am for Monday's service.

Lest we Forget.

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