After two years of fundraising, on both sides of the Atlantic, a monument dedicated to the men who served with the 490th BG based at Eye, Suffolk has been erected. More than 20 relatives of veterans of the 490th BG and Si Spiegle, veteran of the 490th BG, flew over from the States to take part in the ceremonies. Si flew 35 missions from Eye and has just celebrated his 92nd birthday.
The first ceremony was held at the Town Hall in Eye, the second at the inauguration of the memorial at Progress Way situated on the outskirts of Eye where the USAAF Air Base had been situated more than 70 years ago.
|Gathering in the Town Hall|
|Fred Astbury and Clive Stevens with Si Spiegle and family (seated)|
|U.S. Military vehicles at the inauguration|
|Si Spiegle being escorted to the ceremony by two serving USAF airmen |
dressed in 1940's uniforms
|Unveiling of the memorial|
|Flypast over the ceremony dropping poppies.|
Auster V flown by Paul Young from Hardwick Warbirds.
Below are two photos taken from the centre of Eye of the B-17 flypast organised for the end of the ceremony. It was accompanied by two P-51s (not in photos) flown by Hardwick Warbirds. The B-17 is flown by B-17 Preservation Ltd. The P-51 Mustangs were flown by Maurice Hammond and Rob Davies.
490th BG memorial project website (link)