Oklahoma Airman's Sacrifice Honored In England
In England, a town marked the 75th anniversary of a World War II plane crash that killed an Oklahoman. Sergeant George Malcolm Williams, from Faxon, near Lawton, died in a crash that's remarkable because of the survivors.
Sgt. Williams has a simple headstone at Highland Cemetery, in Lawton. He was buried here in 1944, and at the time his sacrifice was noted in the local newspaper.
Today, 75 years after he died, an entire town turned out for a tribute broadcast live to all of England.
The Royal Air Force led a fly-by of a park in Sheffield, England, where thousands of people gathered by a memorial to the 10 Americans, including Sgt Williams, killed when their B-17 crashed in 1944.
One man in Sheffield has spent a lifetime caring for the memorial, and he pushed for the tribute. Today he was overwhelmed as plane after plane, English and American, flew over, to mark the anniversary.
In 1944, a crippled B-17, called "Mi Amigo," was returning damaged from a bombing run in Denmark and tried to make an emergency landing. At the last minute, seeing children in the park, the pilot veered into the trees.
Everyone on the plane died.
All of the children in the park lived, including a then 8-year-old named Tony Foulds. Foulds believes he and his friends were saved by their sacrifice of the air crew.
"If I hadn't been in the park, they could have landed in the park," said Foulds, who had taken it on as his life's work to honor the Americans.
On February 20, the town of Sheffield honored him, and the aircrew that died saving the many children in the park that day. Several books were written, and a documentary made, but there's never been a tribute like this, until now.
Sgt Williams' family moved on from Oklahoma, and though none of them were able to attend, they watched the ceremony online.