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An American in England

by Action Desk, BBC Radio Suffolk

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Archive List > United Kingdom > Suffolk

Contributed by 
Action Desk, BBC Radio Suffolk
People in story: 
Staff Sgt Leroy O. Keeping. Joan Keeping, nee Fellgate.
Location of story: 
RAF Parham, Suffolk
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
08 July 2005

I was stationed at Parham Airfield from 17th July 1943 until 27th July 1945 as a power, turret and gunsight specialist on B17s. I came over from Minnesota to serve 570 Squadron, 390 Bomber Group.

My friend, Sergeant Henry Burack, who was in the US Army/Air Force, like myself, introduced me to a young lady called Joan Fellgate from Framlingham, who was in the Land Army, on a blind date. My friend was going out with her sister, Betty.

I decided to marry Joan in 1944 at Saxmundham Registry Office, after we had had a day out in Felixtowe.

After the war finished, I went back to Minnesota, was demobbed at Camp McCoy, Wisconsin and given $300 to get back home. I continued working on my father's farm , which grew wheat, corn and maize.

My wife came over after 7 years. We decided to come back and settle in Framlingham, where I got work doing odd jobs, then in a butcher's shop, followed by 22 years in a feed mill.

I have lived here ever since and my family live in Suffolk. I have 2 daughters, 4 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren. I like it here because the countryside is like that in Minnesota and I have lived here for over 51 years.

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