One of our Founders
Back in 1943 Tony, as an
eleven year old schoolboy, would stop on his way home from school at the
hardstand of a B17 called 'The Joker' where he
made friends with the ground crew who allowed him to visit every position
on the plane. From that time on he was an avid amateur historian, collecting
memorabilia and archiving the history of the 381st Bomb Group. One of
the high spots of his life was when he visited the reunion of the Eighth
Air Force Historical Society in Salt Lake City, where he met many veterans.
In the 1990s Tony, along with Colin Chatters and, occasionally, Ron McKay, toured our locality with a mobile display of
8th Army Airforce memorabilia and, from 1995 to 2000, showed the
collection, with the help of a small group of local volunteers, on the
hospital site behind the USAAF memorial. It had long been Tony's ambition
to find a permanent home for the collection and in November 1999 we managed
to obtain part of those original hospital buildings.
Sadly, on January 22nd 2000 after a long period of ill health, Tony passed
on before he could see the project completed but the rest of us are commited
to ensuring that his work will be continued.