REWARDS OF RESEARCH
After the articles in Framfare recently regarding LeRoy Keeping and the Parham Airfield I thought I would share with you the results of my research into the Americans who sadly did not get to return home after World War 2 and how through the work for my World War 2 Framlingham book I was able to share previously unknown information with their relatives in America.
On the 27th December 1944 a bomb-laden B17 crashed into the village of Parham, with a detonation on a scale barely conceivable today, sadly all the unfortunate crew perished in the fireball, but amazingly no civilians were killed or even seriously hurt, although every building in Parham sustained damage.
There is a memorial to the men who died in Parham Church as shown below:
Using the internet and Ancestry websites I was able to trace descendants of the men who were pleased to share information and photographs including the families of Devore Murdock and James L Trotter who said the following:
“Devore Murdock, Jr. was my mother’s older brother, or “Uncle Jr.” as we always called him. My Mother Virginia Murdock passed away October of 2009, my father is still living and I believe he has some pictures that I will try to send your way. I am really glad this information has come our way and appreciate your efforts in the same. I just really wish my mother would have had an opportunity to learn some of these details, as far as I know no one in our family was aware of the Museum and the Memorial to Uncle Jr. and his crew mates”
Barry Kelley – Nephew of Devore Murdock
“Hello Simon: I am flabbergasted! Your note is so interesting, not only because of this pursuit of yours, but also because I may learn some more about my uncle’s death. My father’s parents divorced when he was only four years old. My grandfather went on to remarry, and had two more sons. James, of course, died in England during the War. My grandfather died before I was born, and he and my father were not close, so I know very little about that side of the family, but have always wondered about the incident in which my uncle died. I would love to see what you have on this accident.”
Linda Myers – Niece of James L Trotter
Although it is so very sad that these men never got to return home after the War, I am pleased that in some little way my research has helped their families to discover more about where their relatives were stationed and sadly lost their lives in World War 2.