COMMEMORATIVE BREW FOR THE CREW OF 812
When not guiding visitors around the brewery Roz Wiley is Chair of Rollright Parish Council and James Tobin is a local historian/ secretary.
They are brewing a beer along with Tony King of the Military Vehicle Trust to honor 8 crew members who lost their lives. The beer will be served at a ceremony on April 30th 2017 at Great Rollright village hall. The event will be attended by representatives of the American Bomb Group Association.
On December 23rd 1944, as the folk of Great Rollright village Oxfordshire prepared for Christmas, a tragedy occurred. At 6.15pm, that day the peace was shattered by the sound, of an American Boeing B-17 Bomber crashing near the village. Earlier that day the aircraft, a Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress serial number 43-38812 (‘812’) of the 749th Bomb Squadron, 457th Bomb Group, had taken off from RAF Portreath in Cornwall and was heading for its home base at RAF Glatton, near Peterborough. The bomber had, on December 19th, been diverted to Portreath after a bombing mission to Germany.After taking off for home on at approx 4.30pm on December 23rd, ‘812’ seemingly got lost on the way and eventually crashed into the trees near the Triangle at Great Rollright village at 6.15pm, killing the following crewmembers:
Lt. Hendrickson – Pilot, Lt. Graves – Co-Pilot, F/O Williams – Bombardier/Gunner, F/O Kilmer – Navigator, T/Sgt. Riedel – Radio Operator, T/Sgt. Bruer – Flight Engineer/Gunner, Sgt. Hawley – Waist Gunner, S/Sgt. Fitzgerald – Ball gunner
There would be only one survivor of the crash, the Tail Gunner Sgt Clifford A. Heinrich