Photo Gallery Thirteen

467th BG(H) Memorials and Markers


St Andrew's Church contains a plaque erected in memory of four crew members of the "Broad and High" who were killed when it crashed near the church on the 18th August 1944 as it made an attempt to make it home to Rackheath airfield after a raid on an aero-engine works in Woippy, France. Pilot, Lt Roger Leister called in when a few minutes from Rackheath requesting priority emergency landing. There was good reason to believe that he could not negotiate a safe landing. It was suggested that he head for the special emergency landing strip at Manston but figuring that he was closer to Rackheath he continued in that direction. Descending at a rapid rate he barely cleared the village of Kirby Bedon, belly landing in a field just beyond. The crash destroyed the plane and killed four of the crew. The others, including Leister, sustained varying degrees of injury. Villagers who witnessed the final seconds of the flight said that Leister had heroically avoided the village and wanted to show their appreciation. Some weeks later the Kirby Bedon minister contacted the chaplin at Rackheath and arranged to go there. He told them that the villagers had collected a sum of money and would like the names of the crewmen of the Liberator so that their names could be placed on a memorial plaque in the church where it remains to this day. The inscription includes a quotation from Abraham Lincoln "Let us have faith that right makes might and in that faith let us, to the end, dare to do our duty."

Scene at the Original Memorial Service held in St. Andrew's Church, Kirby Bedon, in October 1944, when representatives from the 467th BG at Rackheath and local villagers gathered for the unveiling of the plaque.

St. Andrew's Church, Kirby Bedon, Norfolk.