Emotional pensioner sees flypast dream come true 75 years after crash

Sheffield Flypast The Amazing Story Behind Why The American Airforce Flew Over A UK

Sheffield Flypast The Amazing Story Behind Why The American Airforce Flew Over A UK

Mr Foulds was eight-years-old when he witnessed the B-17 Flying Fortress, Mi Amigo, crash and explode in the park as the pilot apparently tried to avoid him and his friends.

But the story would likely have carried on as little more than a local legend, until BBC Breakfast presenter Dan Walker met Foulds during a walk in the park and started a social media campaign.

The planes are expected to fly over the cemetery between 9.45am and 10am. He said: "This is unbelievable".

Even as his dream came true, Foulds refused to take credit for the flypast, turning at one point to the crowd to say, "Thank you very much for coming, it's lovely see you".

Mr Foulds said of the airmen during the BBC broadcast: "If it hadn't been for them, I wouldn't be here with my family".

"I don't want him to feel guilty and don't think my family would want him to feel guilty", she said.

He managed to watch the event and tweeted: "I can't talk". British and American aircraft are set to take part in a flypast tomorrow morning on the anniversary of the tragedy.

TV presenter Walker, who is now in Tanzania preparing to climb Mount Kilimanjaro for Comic Relief, told him on BBC Breakfast: "The last six weeks have been remarkable from my point of view".

"I know you jokingly asked everybody for a tenner who are there at the park today, but it's not about the money, it's never been about you".

"Tony, it's always been about those 10 men who you think saved your life 75 years ago".

Six terms related to the flypast - Tony Foulds, Endcliffe Park, #TonyGotAFlypast #RememberTheTen #MiAmigo75th and #sheffieldflypast - trended on Twitter on Friday.

Starting the campaign, Walker said: "Tony Foulds was an eight-year-old playing in the park when a USA plane crashed in 1944".

He said the Mi Amigo approached low from the Nether Edge area of the city in an obviously bad way, with only one engine. "They saved me, and I mean saved me".

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"These are now part of my family, my ashes are going to be put by the memorial".

Stephen Clark, 47, a war veteran, said he was taken aback by Foulds' dedication, and felt compelled to come: "I am here today because of what one man has done to bring a memorial back to life".

People heading to the Mi Amigo flypast in Sheffield's Endcliffe Park this morning have been warned of traffic delays. Tony Foulds was an 8-yr-old playing in the park when a USA plane crashed in Feb 1944. Walker started a Twitter campaign under the hashtag #gettonyaflypast.

In memory of the crew of the plane - nicknamed "Mi Amigo" - aircraft from the British Army and the US Army flew over the park, much to Tony's delight.

Almost eight at the time, Foulds watched and waved as American pilot Lt. John G. Kriegshauser waved his arms, trying to clear the children from the patch of green, he has said.

Referring to his regular visits to the memorial, he said: "They are my family".

A tearful pensioner has paid tribute to the 10 American airmen whose plane crashed in front of him, after a flypast to mark the 75th anniversary of their deaths, saying "They're as happy as anything now".

"If I go on holiday I always make sure my son goes to visit".

He added: "Then I shall be able to apologise for killing them".

Julia Johnson, who was among the crowds, said she had cried when she heard Mr Foulds' story and travelled up from London for the event.

As part of the commemorations, a service will also take place this Sunday which will include wreath laying at the memorial as well as a special church service.

"When we have an opportunity to do something on the day, you know, a commemorative date like this, it's absolutely awesome opportunity", said Wingfield, an air attache at the U.S. Embassy in London.

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