Sunday, December 23, 2018

Remembering RAF cadets in Oklahoma


“The AT6 Monument is a granite memorial to Royal Air Force cadets who were killed while on a training flight during World War II. It stands on Big Mountain, north of Moyers, Oklahoma, and was dedicated on February 20, 2000—the 58th anniversary of the deadly crashes.

“Word reached British Airways and Air New Zealand of the students’ endeavor. British Airways donated 18 free tickets for the students’ use, and Air New Zealand offered to fly John Wall to the ceremony, free of charge. The students used the British Airways tickets to fly all survivors, plus flier Wright, to Dallas, Texas—for later transportation to Oklahoma. Several members of the British press corps also accompanied the flights, including reporters from the British Broadcasting Corporation and the Daily Telegraph and Daily Mail newspapers, as well as a local newspaper from a county seat.

“The marker was dedicated on February 20, 2000—the 58th anniversary of the crash landings. According to guest registers and the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, over 1,000 people crowded onto the mountaintop for the ceremony. News of it was broadcast throughout England, and reported in many newspapers around the world after being carried on the Associated Press wire service.”


(I covered the dedication while working for the newspaper in Paris, Texas. There was a crowd on top of the mountain. The Wikipedia article does not mention the Lord Mayor of London, nor an RAF wing commander, who also were at the dedication, as were the Choctaw Nation Honor Guard and the Moyers High School Band.)

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