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Eagle Squadron Memorial (RAF Kirton)

<< Back to Kirton in Lindsey

Details:

Inside a set of railings along with the main village war memorial.

Monument


Polished black granite with gold lettering, about 4 feet tall

 

 

 

The memorial remembers 10 Eagle Squadron pilots killed while flying from the Royal Air Force (RAF) Kirton airbase.  The Eagle Squadrons consisted of Americans who flew with the RAF in WW2. 

 

 

 

From the Royal Observer Corps Website:

 

At the start of World War Two, in November 1940, 244 American pilots crossed the Atlantic to volunteer as fighter pilots with the RAF and the RCAF.  At that time the United States of America was a neutral country, and  these men faced the possibility of losing their US Citizenship for taking part in a foreign war. 

 

They were welcomed here by the RAF and flew together in three units that became known as "The Eagle Squadrons".  These were 71, 121, and 133 Squadrons. Based at RAF Kirton in Lindsey, Lincolnshire where they gave a good account of themselves. Ten of these brave defiant young men lost their lives, fighting for freedom, in 1941 and 1942.     Following America's entry into the War, the Eagle Squadrons were transferred, on the 29th of September 1942, to the US Air Force, and became the 334th, 3335th, and 336th Fighter squadrons. (These Eagle Squadrons still exist to this day, flying F18's out of Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in North Carolina).

 

The sacrifice, of these ten American airmen, has never been recorded on any war memorial until now, some 70 (2012) years later, when a unique headstone was dedicated, close to the War Memorial in the Lincolnshire village where they served.

 

Approximately 250 Americans served with the eagle squadrons; 78 were killed while serving the RAF and 16 were taken prisoners of war. 

 

Orbison, Laughlin, and Whedon are buried at the nearby CWGC  Kirton in Lindsey Cemetery.

 

See also this website Eagle Squadron Memorial at Grosvenor Square for more on this unique group of pilots.

Monument Text:

The text on the monument is written in English and reads:

 

(Royal Air Force Emblem)

 

 

THE EAGLE SQUADRONS OF KIRTON IN LINDSEY

NOVEMBER 1940  MAY 1942

IN TRIBUTE TO THOSE AMERICANS WHO FLEW FOR OUR FREEDOM

 

(Emblem of the 71sT  Squadron)

 

PHILIP HOWARD LECHRONE                 5 MAY 1941

EDWIN EZELL ORBISON                          9 FEBRUARY 1941

VERNON CHARLES KEOGH                    15 FEBRUARY 1941

 

 

(Emblem of the 121st Squadron)

 

            LORAN LEE LAUGHLIN                             21 JUNE 1941

EARL WALLACE MASON                           15 SEPTEMBER 1941

RICHARD FULLER PATTERSON            7 DECEMBER 1941

KENNETH LE ROY HOLDER                   12 DECEMBER 1941

 

 

(Emblem of the 133rd Squadron)

 

            HUGH CARD BROWN                               16 MARCH 1942

SAMUEL FISK WHEDON                           3 APRIL 1942

WALTER CHARLES WICKER                   27 APRIL 1942

 

Commemorates:

People:

Hugh Card Brown

Kenneth LeRoy Holder

Vernon Charles “Shorty”  Keough

Loran Lee Laughlin

Philip Howard  Leckrone

Earl Wallace Mason

Edwin Ezell Orbison

Richard Fuller Patterson

Samuel Fisk Whedon

Walter Charles Wicker

Units:

121st Eagle Squadron

133rd Eagle Squadron

73rd RAF Squadron

Eagle Squadron

Eagle Squadron (RAF)

Royal Air Force (RAF)

Wars:

WWII

Battles:

Battle of Britain

Other images :