Mi Amigo Memorial Flight
It’s less than two weeks until Sheffield looks to the skies to see a unique flyover of US and Royal Air Force aircraft – to mark 75 years since the Mi Amigo disaster.
The whole city is rallying behind Tony Foulds, who has been tending the Mi Amigo memorial for many years, with Buses for Sheffield and Stagecoach Supertram offering free travel for service personnel and veterans in honour of the occasion. Now Sheffield City Council is advising people to plan their journeys to Endcliffe Park carefully and in advance so they can arrive in time for the flypast on Friday 22 February, which will be broadcast live by BBC Breakfast to an audience of millions.
While final aircraft participation will be driven by weather and mission requirements, the US Airforce is anticipating a unique variety of aircraft from U.S. Air Force and Royal Air Force installations including RAF Lakenheath, RAF Mildenhall and RAF Coningsby.
Due to airspace regulations, these aircraft will not fly in one combined formation together but will still put on a fantastic show of airpower in tribute to the fallen crew of the Mi Amigo.
The flypast has been inspired by the dedication of Tony Foulds, who has tended the memorial in Endcliffe Park for many years.
On the Friday, a memorial service will take place, starting at approximately 8am, with a Bugler playing one verse of Amazing Grace. There will be a reading from St John’s Gospel by a Royal British Legion and a bugler will play the Last Post and Reveille.
The annual memorial service is on Sunday 24 February at 2pm at St Augustine’s Parish Church, Endcliffe. Prior to the service, at around 1.15pm, a group of USAF personnel, RAFA officers, the Lord Mayor, Lord-Lieutenant, High Sheriff and members of the public will hold a wreath-laying ceremony at the memorial site.
VANTAGE POINTS and POTENTIAL ROUTE
It is believed that the flypast will arrive in Sheffield from the south-east before arriving in Endcliffe Park, although this route may be subject to change. The city has a number of lofty vantage points which might provide a spectacular back drop for the flyover, such as Bolehills Park, Park Hill flats, Skye Edge playing fields and the Botanical Gardens.
The flypast will also be broadcast on BBC Breakfast if you can’t make it into Sheffield on the day.
The council will be launching a photography competition on its social media channels encouraging people to get the best pictures and send them to us at #sheffieldflypast. We will publish the best ones on our website.
The council has set up a dedicated page for Flypast information at http://bit.ly/flypastsheffield. We will also post regular updates on Twitter @sheffcouncil and Facebook at Our Sheffield, as well as on our Sheffield Newsroom site.
Since October the council has been working with Mr Foulds to improve access and information at the site in readiness for the 75th anniversary. Trees and bushes around memorial area have been pruned to improve access, the gravel footpath below the memorial has been resurfaced, new flower planters have been placed by the memorial and work to open up site lines around the river bank are due to be completed before the event.
A new interpretation board has been installed which tells the tale of what happened to the Mi Amigo crew on the morning of 22 February, 1944, and following a plea from Mr Foulds the steps leading to the memorial have been freshly tarmacked to make access easier for visitors.
Mi Amigo Memorial Flight