At exactly 10’00 hrs the inauguration of the B-24 King Size monument started. Bob and Tom would lead the ceremony, accompanied by Victor Yansenne. Around 150 people had gathered, including US and German reenactors and some historical vehicules. A lot of teammembers had joined in too and friend and research/tourcolleque Doug Mitchell had arranged a Guard of Honor from Spangdalem airbase.
On the crashsite itself, Francois Hubert was waiting with a surprise.
It was very special that Joer Cortese, son in law came over a second time to represent the family Ferdinand. It was also very special to have Ilsa and Nick Pole who came over from England. Their mother used to be the highschoollover of Owen Fox. Ilsa brought all the letters Owen wrote to her mother.
At first all participants were welcomed and the whole story of our B-24 was told in short. During our preparations we made sure the whole ceremony was translated in tw languages: French and English.
Tom Konings was taking the French part and Bob was telling his part in English.
The next part was done by the new mayor of Manhay, mr. Marc Generet. He was accompanied by mr. Claudy Huet and mr Patrick Loos. The community boasted the teamefforts and the efforts of Victor Yansenne.
Then teammember Jan Ploeg took the word and handed over the official remembrance coins to Victor, Jan and Eveline. The coin was especially designed for this occasion by 4bases.
All participants who had made so many efforts to find the plane were mentionend and we were closing in on the most important moment: the revealing of the plaque. Victor, Ilsa, Joe and Marc removed the flag and the plaque was shown to the audience.
Flowers were laid by Vicotr and Jacqueline, Ilsa and Nick, Joe and Eveline and Michel and Jochem.
All the time Francois Hubert was waiting on the crashsite with his professionally made rockets. All the names of the crewmembers were mentionend and each crewmember was remembered by one rocket.
A moment of silence was taken and the Last Post and the national anthems of America and Belgium were played. After that the Guard of Honor was leaving the ceremony and all participants were again thanked for joining this ceremony.
In the afternoon a small group acompanied Ilsa and Nick Pole to the place were Owen Fox was found in 1950.
A great day of remembrance and a great day to meet so many people who were interested in the story of the King Size.
The revealing of the plaque seems to be the ending of a long journey.
But it is not. We are still looking for familymembers of the crew. And we are still looking for the pictures of Henry Maxham and Edward O’Rourke.
They are dead, only if we forget them.
Many thanks to: Michel Weynants, Danielle Roubroeks, Doug Mitchell and Fabienne Bodson for giving me permission to use the pictures.