Four American airmen who were killed when their aeroplane crashed in a field in Blackmore on 24 September 1944 are to be commemorated on a Memorial to be placed in St Laurence Church. It will be a visible and permanent reminder of the brave contribution made by 30,000 American Army Air Force personnel stationed in Essex between 1943-45.
Neil McCarthy wrote in the September 2019 edition of ‘Church Matters’, the parish church magazine, “It was on the evening of 24 September 1944 that a Martin Marauder B26, attempting to reach its base at Matching Green while returning from France in appalling weather, disintegrated on impact in a field adjacent to Fingrith Hall Lane. Two other planes in the same homeward-bound squadron also crashed elsewhere in Essex that night in almost identical circumstances as the Blackmore crash”. See also: https://blackmorehistory.blogspot.com/2008/12/blackmore-notes-and-queries-3-americans.html
“For the first time, in 2016, the names of those onboard B26 aircraft, no 42-95823, “Baby Doll III”, were able to be known and honoured in the place where they died”.
The unveiling date of the Memorial has yet to be announced as Faculty (the permission to make changes to the church structure) has only recently been granted. The wording, as commissioned, on the wall mounted plaque reads:
To the glory of God and in commemoration of
The United States Army Air Force Stationed at Essex Airfields
During World War II who died so we would remain free
This plaque is dedicated to the memory of
FIRST LIEUTENANT RICHARD E. BAEHR
FIRST LIEUTENANT FRANK I. YAWITZ
STAFF SERGEANT EDWARD G. DEMYANOVICH
CORPORAL JOHN M. MYERS
Of the 391st Bombardment Group who were killed
When their aircraft crashed in a Blackmore field
On 24th September 1944