Page last updated at 11:20 GMT, Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Memorial unveiled to WWII pilots


Two of the nine members of the crew died on the mission

A memorial has been unveiled to two US airman who died in Buckinghamshire more than 60 years ago.

The two crew members were killed when the plane crashed shortly after take-off from Cheddington near Leighton Buzzard on 15 November 1944.

Pilot Norman Landberg and tail gunner George Eberwine were two who survived.

On Sunday, they travelled from the US for the unveiling of the memorial, including a flypast and wreath laying, near the site where the plane crashed.

The event was the first time since the end of WWII that the two men had met.

Knocked unconscious

The B24 Liberator was engaged in special operations, and would be sent out before RAF 100 group left from Cheddington.

It had no bombs, but had radar-jamming equipment and on the day it crashed, it suffered total instrument failure.

Mr Eberwine told BBC News about the incident: "It took off and the next thing we know we were tumbling.

"We didn't know what happened. I was knocked unconscious for a little while, and when I woke up I couldn't see.

"When I finally could see I found a space in the plane and jumped out."

William Lamson and Leonard Smith were both killed on impact, but seven of the nine-man crew survived.

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