Holmsley plaque honours American pilot hero
By Katie Clark
June 2, 2010

A WAR hero who sacrificed his life to save others was remembered at a New Forest airfield over the
weekend. After an appeal for funds earlier in the year, the Friends of New Forest Airfields raised enough cash for the public memorial to Captain Darrell R. Lindsey at Holmsley.

Captain Lindsey won a posthumous Medal of Honour, the United States’ highest award for bravery, after
flying from RAF Holmsley in the summer of 1944. The US airman led a formation of B-26 Marauder aircraft on a mission from their base at Holmsley South Aerodrome on August 9, 1944, staying at the controls of his burning bomber to complete the attack and allow his crew to escape, sacrificing his own life.

The plaque erected at the memorial on Monday, Memorial Day in the US, is the first honouring an individual
at any of the airfield sites. Between 1942 and 1944 an estimated 30,000 American airmen from both the eighth and ninth army air forces served on the New Forest Airfields. The greatest concentration of these forces was between April and August 1944 as ninth airforce units operated in support of Operation Overlord, the Allied invasion of Normandy and the Liberation of western Europe.

Veterans of the 394th bomb group were present at the ceremony with Al Momme, vice-president of the
association and veteran of the 394th Bomb Group conducting the unveiling and dedication. The bugle call Taps was sounded at 3pm by teenager Robert Shaw along with a salute by the flags with the two standard bearers from Christchurch Air Training Corps.

John Levesley from the Friends of New Forest Airfields said: “It was a poignant afternoon. Around 100
people turned up for the ceremony which was great. “One of the most touching things about it was the presence of the youngsters there – our bugle player and the two standard-bearers.”
Reprinted with the permission of the Katie Clark and the Bournmouth Daily Echo
© 2010 Bournmouth Daily Echo All Rights Reserved

See photos of the dedication ceremony on the Captain Darrell Robins Lindsey, U.S.A.A.F. Memorial page.

Page published June 13, 2010