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Hunstanton renews its special relationship with USAF squadron

The mayor and deputy mayor of Hunstanton met recently with United States Air Force 67th Special Operations Squadron, from RAF Mildenhall.

The new officer in charge of 67th SOS, Lt. Col Jared Williams, is very proud of the 67th’s special relationship with the town of Hunstanton and is keen to develop links through the unique twinning of the squadron and the town.

As a result, a meeting was arranged between Lt Col Jared Williams, SM Sgt Jeremy Mayo, Hunstanton's mayor, deputy mayor and town clerk, the curator of the Sculthorpe Heritage Centre, chairman of the Hunstanton and District Civil Society and Friends of the 67th SOS.

Mayor Adrian Winnington and deputy mayor Maureen Howard of Hunstanton welcomed Lt. Col. Williams and SMSgt Mayo to the newly refurbished town hall. (51812265)
Mayor Adrian Winnington and deputy mayor Maureen Howard of Hunstanton welcomed Lt. Col. Williams and SMSgt Mayo to the newly refurbished town hall. (51812265)

Adrian Winnington and Maureen Howard welcomed Lt Col Williams and SM Sgt Mayo to the newly-refurbished Town Hall and emphasised the special and lasting relationship which has been formed between the 67th SOS and the people of Hunstanton, who are deeply indebted to the bravery and selflessness of the American airmen during the floods of 1953.

The officers from Mildenhall were able to see the Freedom of Hunstanton charter and other 67th SOS related items on display in the Town Hall.

There are similar items on display at the 67th’s headquarters building at Mildenhall and Lt. Co. Williams is eager to develop this further by renaming their conference and training rooms.

He makes sure that every new recruit to the squadron is made fully aware of the special relationship with Hunstanton.

Discussions took place regarding events to commemorate the 69th and 70th anniversaries of the 1953 floods and of the formation of the 67th SOS.

The anniversary of the 67th SOS is November 14 which this year is Remembrance Sunday and so this year the squadron will be joining with the town to commemorate.

Two USAF airmen Reis Leming and Freeman Kilpatrick were awarded the George Medal for their actions during the 1953 floods.

The main walkway through the esplanade gardens has been named Reis Leming Way.

Mr Winnington said “We hope to work with the borough council to get the other walkway in the gardens named Freeman Kilpatrick Way.

"After the town was twinned with the 67th a sign to this effect was attached to the town sign on Redgate Hill.

"We will also be working with the county council to get a similar sign erected at the entrance to the town from Old Hunstanton.”

Lt Col Williams wants to arrange visits of groups from the town to Mildenhall and it was suggested that this could possibly involve students from Smithdon High School.

He also said that he would be very happy to visit Smithdon High School to talk to students.

Mr Winnington said: “It was good to meet with people sharing positive aims of building on the past and planning for the future of this special relationship between town and squadron.”

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