Eye, Suffolk : Inauguration of the memorial dedicated to the 490th BG USAAF

Eye, Suffolk : 29th May 2016

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.

The 490th BG flew 158 combat missions. Were part of the bombing raid on German defences on D-Day, in May 1945 transported French, Spanish and Belgian prisoners of war back to Allied centres and dropped urgently needed food supplies to Holland (Operation Chowhound).

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.

Ghost Squadron

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)