Suffolk

Museum's search for American WWII brick etchers unsuccessful

  • 6 November 2012
  • From the section Suffolk
Bricks with names of American servicemen at Ditchingham Maltings
Image caption About 45 names were written on the bricks at Ditchingham Maltings

Efforts to find the families of US servicemen who wrote their names on a Suffolk building during World War II have failed.

About 45 names were etched on bricks at Ditchingham Maltings, near Bungay, while it was used as a depot for bombs.

Norfolk and Suffolk Aviation Museum tried to contact families in the US.

Curator Huby Fairhead said: "We've studied names and addresses, but letters without a zip code get returned."

Mr Fairhead said he had tried to approach the servicemen or their relatives as the building was being demolished to make way for housing.

The bricks have been removed and will go on display at the museum in Flixton.

The 2212 Quarter Master Truck Company (Aviation) Combat Support Wing was stationed at the former silk mill.

Lionel Richie connection?

"They used to deliver the bombs to airfields about 50 miles away," Mr Fairhead said.

"Delivering bombs to airfields, it could be their last day - this could be their only memorial."

Mr Fairhead said this was the case for five men who lost their lives when the bombs they were delivering to Metfield airfield exploded.

He said he believed a brick with the inscription Ted Leggett RIP could reference this loss.

Another brick which has intrigued Mr Fairhead is marked Ruci.

He believes it could relate to Lionel Richie and has tried to contact the singer to see if there is a connection.

"I think it's his father," Mr Fairhead said. "His father is also known as Lionel Richie and he was born at Tuskegee, where the American airmen came from.

"I wonder if Ruci was his nickname."

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