New memorial honours Deenethorpe plane crash airmen

A ceremony to mark the 70th year since nine people were killed in a plane crash has taken place at Deenethorpe.

On September 17, 1944, the crew of B-17G 42-97872, the plane known as Rosie’s Sweat Box, crashed on take-off.

Plane Memorial : Benefield Rd: Weldon to Lower Benefield Rd. 'Roadside memorial erected to mark the place where ��Rosie�"s Sweat Box�" a USAF B17 bomber from Deenethorpe Airbase, on the ��Operation Market Garden�" raids, crashed on take off. All nine members of the crew died. 'l-r Paul Knight ,  Kevin Flecknor, Graham Bratley, Paul Bellamy at the existing memorial to the 612, 613, 614 615 Squadrons part of the 401st Bombardment Group.'Sunday 14th September 2014 NNL-140914-184832009

Plane Memorial : Benefield Rd: Weldon to Lower Benefield Rd. 'Roadside memorial erected to mark the place where ��Rosie�"s Sweat Box�" a USAF B17 bomber from Deenethorpe Airbase, on the ��Operation Market Garden�" raids, crashed on take off. All nine members of the crew died. 'l-r Paul Knight , Kevin Flecknor, Graham Bratley, Paul Bellamy at the existing memorial to the 612, 613, 614 615 Squadrons part of the 401st Bombardment Group.'Sunday 14th September 2014 NNL-140914-184832009

Local man Paul Knight, 85, who was there on the day of the crash, has now helped put in place a permanent memorial to the men who died.

They were members of 614th Bomb Squadron and 401st Bomb Group who were based at the rural airfield during the Second World War.

Mr Knight, who lives in Brigstock and heard the explosion of the plane, said: “There were a lot of crashes in the area at the time.

“I remember hearing the explosion.

“It’s now 70 years since the crash and we’ve managed to get a little marker put up on the site of the crash to honour the men who died there.”

The base opened in 1943 and was known as United States Air Force Station: 128.

It was home to the bombers of 612, 613, 614, 615 squadrons of the 401st Bomb Group who flew 255 combat missions from there, losing 95 B-17s between December 1943 and June 1945.

For a year from June 1945 the site was used as a recruitment centre by the RAF.

It was also used for many years by the Royal Observer Corps but closed in 1946.