Pensioner Fights Tears As Fly-Past Remembers US Airmen Who Saved His Life

A pensioner from Sheffield was today joined by thousands of well-wishers and residents for a fly-past to commemorate an aeroplane crash that killed 10 American airmen in 1944.

82-year-old Tony Foulds was just eight years old when a US Army B-17 Flying Fortress crashed in Sheffield's Endcliffe Park whilst taking evasive action to avoid Tony and his mates.

That was 75 years ago, and ever since that day, Tony has maintained a memorial to the men who lost their lives in the park.

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.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

He fought back tears as he explained to BBC Breakfast how much the gesture meant to him. Tony said: "It's more than bravery. It saved me.

"If they'd have thought of themselves, which they didn't, they could have landed on me.

"You know, it's more than brave when somebody kills themselves rather than strangers. They put us first."

As well as Tony, there were thousands of locals who turned out to the park to celebrate the anniversary. On top of that, some of the relatives of those killed in the accident were also there to thank Tony for honouring the memory of those lost.

After the emotional fly-past, one relative said: "It's awesome. I think it's a memorial to the men, but it's as much for Tony as them, and the nobility of the human spirit."

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

As a fitting tribute, one of the assembled crowd sparked three cheers for the pensioner shortly after the planes flew overhead.

Tony's story came to the fore after BBC TV's Dan Walker heard about his work in maintaining the memorial. Walker then started the campaign to get the fly-past organised.

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

"He has diligently maintained the memorial ever since. He was planting new flowers. Almost 75 years of service. What a man."

Tony fights back the tears. Credit: BBC
Tony fights back the tears. Credit: BBC

He also tweeted: "He doesn't want a medal. All he wants is a fly-past on the 75th anniversary on the 22nd Feb 2019.

"He couldn't even get his phone out of his pocket this morning because of the shakes but stills weeps, cleans and tends the memorial.

"Let's mark his 75 years of service with something special."

Well, today that dream came true.

Featured Image Credit: BBC

Tom Wood

Tom Wood is a freelance journalist and LADbible contributor. He graduated from University of London with a BA in Philosophy before studying for a Masters in Journalism at the University of Salford. He has previously written for the M.E.N Group as well as working for several top professional sports clubs. Contact him on [email protected]

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