Belfast Telegraph

Video: B-17 fly-past over Belfast in tribute to Northern Ireland's fallen GIs

BY JOANNE FLEMING

A spectacular fly-past by a Second World War-era B-17 bomber provided the finale to a service of remembrance for US servicemen on Saturday.

The 'Sally B' flew over the Castlereagh hills to mark a new monument commemorating US servicemen who died and were buried in Northern Ireland during the conflict.

The granite sculpture, engraved with the names of 148 US servicemen, was erected at the Lisnabreeny American military cemetery in Castlereagh.

The rare Boeing B-17 is a four-engine heavy bomber aircraft, primarily employed by the US Army Air Force in the war.

Most were lost either in combat or training operations, and the 'Sally B' is the last remaining airworthy B-17 in Europe.

The Lisnabreeny American military cemetery was used as a burial ground for 148 US personnel between 1943 and 1948.

After the war the deceased were exhumed and either repatriated to the US at the request of their families or transferred to the permanent war cemetery in Cambridge.

At Saturday's ceremony, Air Vice Marshal David Niven was invited to lay a wreath on behalf of the armed services.

"They came from the United States to fight alongside us, in our hour of need, when the rest of Europe had been overrun by the Nazi war machine," said Mr Niven. "The sacrifice of our American allies, commemorated in granite, and standing proud in the rolling Castlereagh hills, shall never be forgotten."

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