A new memorial honoring United States Air Force servicemen stationed at Langar Airfield during World War II has been unveiled.
Funded by donations from local businesses, the memorial was unveiled in a moving ceremony to honor American servicemen who served and died flying from RAF Langar.
The campaign to create the memorial was led by local historian Darren Bond, from Cotgrave, after realizing that 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 said.
“I am honored to have participated in this effort to mark the importance of this airfield to the war effort.”
Darren’s determination to mark the sacrifice of these servicemen was born after meeting Rick Hollie whose father, a veteran of the 82nd Airborne Division, was stationed at RAF Langar in 1944.
RAF Langar housed the USAAF from November 1943 until October 1944 after the friendly invasion. It was used as a satellite base for troop carrier groups arriving from the United States.
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 after leaving Langar and never returned.
Following work with the local parish council and the 207 Squadron committee, permission was granted for the erection of a permanent memorial.
The unveiling of the memorial was attended by local residents as well as several local council dignitaries and RAF officials, including the Lord-Lieutenant of Nottinghamshire, Sir John Peace.
The new memorial was funded by donations made by corporations and individuals around the world, including John Deere, Tarmac, Vale Concrete and the Vale Market Café. The memorial was commissioned by AW Lymn Funeral Directors.