Suffolk

Museum makes contact with American WW2 brick etchers

  • 1 June 2014
  • From the section Suffolk
Bricks with names of American servicemen at Ditchingham Maltings Image copyright Norfolk and Suffolk Aviation Museum
Image caption The bricks can be seen at the Norfolk and Suffolk Aviation Museum

The families of 18 US servicemen who wrote their names on bricks during World War Two have been traced after an American woman helped with the search.

Norfolk and Suffolk Aviation Museum struggled to contact the relatives after finding 47 etched bricks at Ditchingham Maltings, Bungay, Suffolk.

Donna Goldbach-Martin from New Jersey heard about the story two years ago.

Curator Huby Fairhead said she had "made it a project to help me locate the families in America".

Now on display

The maltings was used as a storage depot by the 2212 Quarter Master Truck Company (Aviation) Combat Support Wing.

The bricks came to light when the building was being demolished to make way for housing.

Mr Fairhead said that Ms Goldbach-Martin heard about the museum's search from a relative working in Norwich.

"So far, she has helped us trace 18 families, including the widow of Lavern H Berning, who sent a list of 80 veterans names in a newsletter which helped with further research into names," he said.

"We've also just made contact with the family of Don Mann from Wisconsin, after Donna came up with an address and wrote to them."

In November 2012, the project leaders said efforts to trace any of the service personnel had failed.

The bricks are now on display at the museum in Flixton.

Image copyright Norfolk and Suffolk Aviation Museum
Image caption Forty-seven names were written on the bricks at Ditchingham Maltings

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