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The Last Plane to be Lost from Horham Air Base


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Contributed by

Action Desk, BBC Radio Suffolk

People in story:

Mr Edwin Herbet Coe, Lt Russel Cook and Lt Anthony Braidic

Location of story:

Rdelingfield, Nr Eye Suffolk Horham, Eye Sufolk IP23 7QU

Background to story:


Article ID:


Contributed on:

19 May 2005


When the Americans came to Horham they found our small village pub in the neighbouring village of Redlingfield and made it their local, it was called the Crown.They swarmed across the fields and drank the place dry.The Crown was tiny and there was no room inside so they would sit along the verge outside.This must have seemed very quaint, as at that time we had no electric power in the village.The pub was lit by oil lamps and with cigarette smoke as well, walls and ceiling were very grubby but they loved it..


My brother Stanley made friends with some "Yanks" and was asked whether he knew anyone who would do washing.Mother agreed and I becane a laundry Boy.The copper would be filled and the fire lit underneath and whites boiled.Coloureds were washed by hand and we children would turn old fashioned wringer and wring out the water.


Thre was an MP post in Redlingfield and we became friendly with those on duty.I was given a sandwich which I thouhgt contained cheese, it was in fact butter.Our butter was rationed and to see so much butter in a sandwich was unheard of which is why I remember it.We were also given sweets and chewing gum, Mother was given soap for washing.In collecting the washing I became friendly with Lt Cook and Bradic and other crew members.


I rememember Lt Bradic cycled to Redlingfield to ask Fathers permission for me to visit London and him giving his connsent.To a 12yr old who had neber been on a train, and certainly never been to London this was wonderful.It was April the 28th 1945 , it had been a cold night and there was a sprinkling of snow, which disappeared as we travelled onward.


On arrival in the big city, we ate at Grosevener House, there was a bit of trouble because I was a lad in civilian clothes, but it passed over and I was allowed to stay.I remember having a partitioned metal tray containing various food stuffs plus an orange.In the vening I went with Lt Russel Cook to see a film called "Toninght and every Night "the rest went elsewhere.On Sunay April 29th 1945 we took a tour by taxi to see the sigths and the bomb damage., then the train back to Diss station.


After arrival back to Redlingfileld my Mother made me sit down and write a thank you leetter , to thank Lt Cook for taking care of me, which he kept among his possessions.Monday May 7th LT Cook was navuigator on s/n 44-4860 engaged on a food drop over Urecht and it is believed that over Amsterdam it was fired upon, and hot in number two engine, they limped home and almost made it, cartwheeling into the sea just off Benacre Ness.There were only two survivors .My thank you letter was found by his Mother and his posessions , she kept it untill her death. It was found later and copied and sent back to me years later , the originals are still with the family.



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