The internet, as we all recognise, has remarkable reach and yesterday I received the following email from Mr Steve Duffy of Glendale, Arizona, regarding the Liberator bomber crash in Westgate in 1944.
"I just wanted to let you know that I stumbled upon your blog in doing some research on my Dad. He was the tail gunner in the crew in the Weinheimer aircraft that went down at Westgate 27 March 1944. I greatly appreciate your postings on this topic. This was his ninth (and, as it turned out, last) mission, but my Dad survived 40 years after the incident. He did not live to see the internet, or the kind of information you and others have posted, but would have been interested. Many thanks, and I hope that if I ever get to England, I can persuade my wife to take a detour to the area-in my mind something of our family’s version of visiting Omaha Beach."
I wrote back to Steve and told him that we discussed ideas for a ceremony, next year, at a meeting of the Margate Charter Trustees on Monday. Perhaps tha might be a good time for a visit!
By a strange coincidence, twenty-four hours later, I received the following email:
"Dear Mr Moores
I also found your blog when searching my father's name. My father was the pilot, Jacob Weinheimer. I just returned home from having dinner with my brother and sisters. I was telling them that I had found a picture of Daddy's crashed plane. You may be hearing from them as they are all older than I, and have better information than the few meagre stories that I was able to drag out of my father.
Part of the story is not quite correct as my father was severely injured in the crash. His co-pilot, George Marshall, was unharmed in the crash and could only be the one speaking with Mr. Smyth after the crash.
Thank you for the Liberator memorial. If my father were alive, he would very much want to be a part of it. The fact that he lost half his crew weighed heavy on him the rest of his life."
Dona Weinheimer Cox