The Great Paxton Lancaster Memorial
A memorial is being planned to a young bomber crew who died when their Avro Lancaster crashed on the outskirts of Great Paxton just a few months before the end of the Second World War.
The seven-strong crew had taken of from nearby RAF Graveley on a foggy Christmas Eve in 1944 but the fully-laden aircraft, PB366, failed to gain height, clipping trees at the top of the village and a house in London Lane before finally coming down in a field near to what is now Brookside.
The entire crew, with an average age of 22, died in the crash despite attempts by villagers to help.
Great Paxton History Society has launched a campaign to honour the 35 Squadron crew with a special memorial.
The memorial will consist of a steel sculpture representing the Lancaster upon a large stone with a plaque giving brief details of the men who died.
"The stone will stand on a grass mound, surrounded by a low hedge and plants, in Dovecote Lane.
A date for the opening of the memorial will be set once funding is complete.
The crew who died were:
Pilot F/O Arthur Kenyon 23
Navigator Sgt Albert Thomas 23
Bomb-aimer Flt Sgt Alec Cousins 21
Wireless operator Flt Sgt Cecil Blundell 20
Air gunner Sgt Cyril Winter 23
Air gunner Sgt Roy Yallop 24
Flight engineer Sgt Leonard Williams 23
Part of the Pathfinder Force, PB366, had been heading for the Nippes Marshalling Yard in Cologne when disaster struck a short distance from home and just months away from the end of the war in Europe.
Donations can be made to:
by cheque made payable to "Great Paxton History Society" sent to:
Mrs J. Wieczorek,
4 Glebe Close,
Collection boxes will be also available in the village shop and The Bell public house.