Veterans in Sudbury, Suffolk, June 2007
First step: L to R Robert Moore, Wilbur Chapman, George Rubin, Bill Hare, Harry Theobald. 2nd step Pete Lewis, James Martin, Merle Wilson. Top step Dick Stilling, Burt Paquin, Bob Harper, Ray Garrett, Glen Walfoort.
We had a part of 39 including vets Wilbur Chapman, Ray Garrett, Bill Hare, Bob Harper, Homer Lewis, Jim Martin, Bob Moore, Burt Paquin, George Rubin, Dick Stilling, Harry Theobald, Glenn Walfoort, and Merle Wilson. Phyis Craig and Trudy Ronson were also in the party. The rest were children--and 5 grandchildren, aged 14 to 34.
Sudbury really laided it on in grand style for us. There was a 486th tent at the Spring Rally on Saturday with room for folks to come in and visit with us, some recalling the 'old days' and others asking questions about it all. Roger Lane has put together a terrific display. Then, Sunday we were honored at a church service at St. Gregory's, then had the wreath-laying ceremony (Trudy Ronson and Ray Garrett were our representatives) complete with a ceremonial squadron from, honor guard, chaplain, and brass from a nearby American airbase, a local veterans' organization in uniform and with a drum and bugle corps. After the ceremony, we march to the Town Hall (which had Old Glory flying) for a great formal 'cold buffet;. after lunch we presented our check for $10,000 to cover perpetual care of the monument. We also were shown plans for an elaborate memorial to be located on the site of the airbase, which is going to be part of a large 'planned town' addtion to Sudbury that is about to begin.
We also had visits to the American cemetery at Cambridge (which has about as many graves as the number of soldiers lost in Iraq) and the American hanger at the Imperial War Museum at Duxford. to Lavenham and the Lavenham tower, which now houses the headqaurters of an engineering firm, and Bury St. Edmunds. On the way back to Gatwick at the end of our visit we spent a morning touring 'constable Country' to the sites of some of the painters pictures (nothing has changed all that much).
— Bob Harper, 486th commander