Reply to post

Windy City Challenger crew of Lt John Perkins to be honoured in France 8th May 2010

Author
Ian White
Can Do Commando
  • Total Posts : 1504
  • Reward points : 6890
  • Joined: 2005/08/06 16:36:50
  • Location: Northamptonshire - England
  • Status: offline
2010/04/17 09:28:14 (permalink)
0

Windy City Challenger crew of Lt John Perkins to be honoured in France 8th May 2010

Dear all...

On May 8th at 1100hrs, in Town of Leuisaint, SSE of centre of Paris, there will be a ceremony and dedication of a plaque; to remember the crew of Lt John Perkins 422nd Sqn-305th BG, and their ship 'WINDY CITY CHALLENGER'. This will be part of the larger commemorations to remember the end of WW2 in the European theatre, ETO, VE Day May 8th 1945. 

Ian
post edited by Ian White - 2010/05/06 17:11:51

Ian White - 1st VP 2012-2013, 305th BGMA Hon. Life Associate, UK-European Contact and 305th BGMA Historian  

8 Replies Related Threads

    LEBLANC
    Squadron Member
    • Total Posts : 17
    • Reward points : 842
    • Joined: 2006/09/13 15:05:56
    • Location: South Paris, FRANCE
    • Status: offline
    Re:Windy City Challenger crew of Lt John Perkins to be honoured in Fra 2010/05/06 13:52:21 (permalink)
    0
    Mr. Ian White,

    I'm very honored to meet you, although i don't speak english.

    best wishes.

    Jérôme Leblanc

    Regards !

    Jerome,
    South Paris, FRANCE 
    Ian White
    Can Do Commando
    • Total Posts : 1504
    • Reward points : 6890
    • Joined: 2005/08/06 16:36:50
    • Location: Northamptonshire - England
    • Status: offline
    Re:Windy City Challenger crew of Lt John Perkins to be honoured in Fra 2010/05/06 17:23:09 (permalink)
    0
    Greetings Jerome

    I will be attending these ceremonies in person, in Lieusaint France, Saturday May 8th. I assume you may be also present?
    If circumstance and time allows, I would be happy of course to say 'hello'. I understand the VE Day service commences 11.00hrs, and the dedication to the Perkins crew and WINDY CITY CHALLENGER will follow, at approximately 11.30hrs.

    I'll carry a digital camera and will plan to photo the event as best as I can, and will post the best images and a summary upon my return.

    Ian

    Ian White - 1st VP 2012-2013, 305th BGMA Hon. Life Associate, UK-European Contact and 305th BGMA Historian  

    LEBLANC
    Squadron Member
    • Total Posts : 17
    • Reward points : 842
    • Joined: 2006/09/13 15:05:56
    • Location: South Paris, FRANCE
    • Status: offline
    Re:Windy City Challenger crew of Lt John Perkins to be honoured in Fra 2010/05/08 08:11:57 (permalink)
    0
    Dear Ian,

    it was a great pleasure and an honor to meet and discuss with you. I hope to have the opportunity to assist you further again. Our common passion of aviation and memory.

    Sorry not to have had the opportunity to stay with you longer

    best wishes

    Jérôme

    Regards !

    Jerome,
    South Paris, FRANCE 
    Ian White
    Can Do Commando
    • Total Posts : 1504
    • Reward points : 6890
    • Joined: 2005/08/06 16:36:50
    • Location: Northamptonshire - England
    • Status: offline
    Re:Windy City Challenger crew of Lt John Perkins to be honoured in Fra 2010/05/10 08:22:24 (permalink)
    0
    Hi all 305th and forum members....

    FRANCE WAS A GREAT SUCCESS!!!!

    Travel was completed by British Airways and then by hire car with
    little inconvenience. Thankfully I dodged the continued volcano ash
    cloud issues and returned home as planned.

    The weather in Lieusaint Village was superb for the service on
    Saturday May 8th, a few broken clouds but mainly a blue sky and warm
    sunshine. On my arrival at the market square, I was met by several
    members of the local Town Council, and was made to feel VERY welcome.
    The events themselves took place at the Church of St Quentin, at the
    market square, opposite the Mayor's Office. It is a beautiful old
    style French Town, or rather a large Village.

    The commemorations of Victory in Europe Day, VE-Day, are an important
    annual event for all of France, and this year was well attended with
    in excess of 100 local Town folk watching, plus honoured guests. We
    had five veterans of France, local Lieusaint residents. Two had been
    members of the local Resistance-Underground. Another had served in the
    Free French Air Force flying with the British RAF; photo
    reconnaissance . Although all were frail and some wheelchair bound,
    they attended these services. Diploma's were presented to them all in
    recognition of their sacrifices in WW2. The Mayor Mr Michel Bisson
    gave a great speech, reminding the crowd of those many sacrifices made
    by not only the people of France but also her allies, and especially
    the crew of John Perkins and WINDY CITY CHALLENGER, who's tragic
    deaths ultimately helped free her from German occupation more than 65
    years ago.

    Following an act of remembrance and the main service, a celebration of
    VE Day and liberation for France, we completed the events by unveiling
    the new plaque, recalling the tragedy of WINDY CITY CHALLENGER and our
    very own John Perkins crew 422nd Sqn. This whole project was a
    culmination of hard work by two local amateur historians. Jean-Louis
    Robin and Jerome LeBlanc. Their determination in recording this story
    and the assistance of the people of Lieusaint should be commended.

    Prior to the services, I took a walk across Town and found a florist
    store. I explained in my schoolboy pidgeon French (!) who I was and
    why I was in the Town that morning. The lady florist did a wonderful
    job in helping make sure the 305th BGMA had a floral tribute for the
    11.00 am services. We not only had red, white and blue flower blooms,
    but also red, white and blue ribbons to complete the display. I cannot
    thank the lady enough for her kindness in meeting my very late
    request.

    The whole service was very moving. Small children were given the duty
    of reading each man's name, followed by them stating to the gathered
    crowd 'A Patriot of France'. The music was provided by the Harmony
    Band from nearby Town of Moissy Cramel. They admirably played both the
    French and American National Anthems. They later played a musical
    interlude, including Louis Armstrong's 'Its a Wonderful World'.

    To my great surprise, I was asked by Mayor Bisson to help lay the Town
    floral wreath, on behalf of the Mayor's office, and then the floral
    tribute to our own Perkins crew. The speech I prepared on behalf of
    the 305th BGMA was read out by a member of the Mayor's office in
    French. I can report it was met with great applause.

    The official proceedings were concluded with a reception at the
    Mayor's office. At this reception I was introduced to many people who
    actually witnessed the Perkins crew parachuting down into the Town and
    surrounding countryside. They remembered the anger of the Local German
    Commander, because many in the Town had given first aid to survivors
    of the crew. As young teenagers, some had witnessed several people of
    the Town being kicked and beaten for showing such assistance.

    The visit to Lieusaint France I consider was a great success and the
    acknowledgements of the 305th of this event was much appreciated. We
    as an association, and our membership of veterans and extended family,
    can be justly proud that one of our very own crews who were lost in
    combat in 1943 are now remembered by a grateful community.

    I'd like to thank those concerned upon our Officer board for asking me to represent the 305th
    BGMA for these ceremonies. I was honoured to do so.

    Respectfully
    Ian White
    305th BGMA UK Contact



    Pictures attached of Lieusaint, main street, and St Quentin's Church upon the market square. This was the location of the ceremonies on May 8th 2010.

    Attached Image(s)


    Ian White - 1st VP 2012-2013, 305th BGMA Hon. Life Associate, UK-European Contact and 305th BGMA Historian  

    Ian White
    Can Do Commando
    • Total Posts : 1504
    • Reward points : 6890
    • Joined: 2005/08/06 16:36:50
    • Location: Northamptonshire - England
    • Status: offline
    Re:Windy City Challenger crew of Lt John Perkins to be honoured in Fra 2010/05/10 08:29:08 (permalink)
    0
    Further three photographs taken as the ceremonies were about to commence, 11.00am. There was a good turn out of 100 local residents, plus invited guests.

    Attached Image(s)


    Ian White - 1st VP 2012-2013, 305th BGMA Hon. Life Associate, UK-European Contact and 305th BGMA Historian  

    Ian White
    Can Do Commando
    • Total Posts : 1504
    • Reward points : 6890
    • Joined: 2005/08/06 16:36:50
    • Location: Northamptonshire - England
    • Status: offline
    Re:Windy City Challenger crew of Lt John Perkins to be honoured in Fra 2010/05/10 08:36:51 (permalink)
    0
    Left to Right:

    Mayor of Lieusaint, Mr Michel Bisson. Mayor Bisson spoke well of the American crew of John Perkins and asked everyone to recognise their sacrifice 67 years ago.

    The plaque finally unveiled during the ceremonies, honouring the Perkins crew by name.

    The two leading members of the research and ultimate construction of this memorial,  Jerome LeBlanc (left) and Jean-Louis Robin (right). Jerome is a forum member here on AAF.
    post edited by Ian White - 2010/05/10 09:09:47

    Attached Image(s)


    Ian White - 1st VP 2012-2013, 305th BGMA Hon. Life Associate, UK-European Contact and 305th BGMA Historian  

    Ian White
    Can Do Commando
    • Total Posts : 1504
    • Reward points : 6890
    • Joined: 2005/08/06 16:36:50
    • Location: Northamptonshire - England
    • Status: offline
    Re:Windy City Challenger crew of Lt John Perkins to be honoured in Fra 2010/05/10 08:50:26 (permalink)
    0
    Floral tributes from the Town's people and our own 305th Bomb Group Memorial Association. Colour Standards from the local Veterans of France watch over the ceremonies, led by the Deputy Mayor of Lieusaint.

    The speech which was read to the crowd in French towards the end of the dedication service.

    Mr Mayor, Veterans of France, Honoured Guests, The people of Lieusaint. 

    On behalf of the 305th Bombardment Group and its many Veterans still living across the ocean in the United States of America, I bring sincere greetings and thank you for this most splendid memorial to the crew of WINDY CITY CHALLENGER. As the UK and European Contact for the 305th, I welcome this memorial which honours one of our many bomber crews who flew repeatedly over occupied Europe, in the cause of freedom more than 65 years ago. 
      
    Lt John Perkins and his men were but very young boys. Some had joined the Air Force from High School. Such young lives that were never to realise their true potential. All were eager to join in fighting the fascist Nazi terror, which blackened Europe and threatened all of us at that time. 
      
    Our President, Mr James Shilling Snr, wishes to express his personal gratitude and that of the association he represents at this time.  Your valiant efforts here in Lieusaint are recognised, in remembering this tragedy and the many tragedies suffered by all during World War Two. 
      
    May the memorial to the John Perkins crew we have dedicated here act as a reminder to all, to remember that the peace and democracy we all enjoy today comes at a very high cost. 
      
    Finally, ladies and gentlemen, honoured guests, I wish to thank you for inviting the 305th Bomb Group Memorial Association to be present at this service, and for welcoming me so warmly as their representative. 
      
    Thank you. 



    Attached Image(s)


    Ian White - 1st VP 2012-2013, 305th BGMA Hon. Life Associate, UK-European Contact and 305th BGMA Historian  

    LEBLANC
    Squadron Member
    • Total Posts : 17
    • Reward points : 842
    • Joined: 2006/09/13 15:05:56
    • Location: South Paris, FRANCE
    • Status: offline
    Re:Windy City Challenger crew of Lt John Perkins to be honoured in Fra 2010/05/11 17:46:42 (permalink)
    0
    Ian

    it was a great moment of pride and excitement to welcome you to the ceremony Lieusaint. It was a pleasure to share the cup of friendship and memory. Thank you for coming to gather with us on the monument to our fallen brave liberators. Your coming and thanks are the greatest rewards in my research work, conducted with the help of Jean Louis Robin.

    Regards !

    Jerome,
    South Paris, FRANCE 
    Jump to:
    © 2014 APG vNext Commercial Version 5.0