A new memorial honouring the servicemen of the United States Army Airforce stationed at Langar Airfield during the Second World War has been unveiled.
Funded by donations from local businesses, the memorial was unveiled during a moving ceremony on 1 October to honour the US servicemen who served and died flying from RAF Langar.
The campaign to create the memorial was led by local historian Darren Bond, of Cotgrave, after he realised nothing was in place to preserve the memory of these servicemen for future generations.
“It’s great to finally place a lasting memorial to these heroes,” Darren says. “I’m honoured to have been a part of this endeavour to mark the significance of this airfield to the war effort.”
Darren’s determination to mark the sacrifice of these servicemen came about after he met Rick Hollie whose father, a veteran of the 82nd Airborne Division, was stationed at RAF Langar in 1944.
RAF Langar was home to the USAAF from November 1943 to October 1944 following the Friendly Invasion. It was utilised as a satellite base for incoming troop carrier groups flying in from the US.
The airfield was also used during the invasion of the Netherlands as part of Operation Market Garden in September 1944 – an operation depicted in the film A Bridge Too Far.
From Langar the 441st Troop Carrier Group dropped and towed units of the 82nd Airborne
Division into the Netherlands. As part of this operation, 16 US personnel were sadly killed having left from Langar and never returned.
Following work with the local parish council and the 207th Squadron committee, permission was granted for a permanent memorial to be erected.
The unveiling of the memorial was attended by local residents as well as several local council dignitaries and RAF officials, including the Lord-Lieutenant for Nottinghamshire, Sir John Peace.
The new memorial was funded by donations made by businesses and individuals worldwide, including John Deere, Tarmac, Vale Concrete, and the Vale Market Café. The memorial was commissioned by A W Lymn Funeral Directors.