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Thread: NAYLAND - 1st Lt. Charles F. Gumm Jr Memorial Bench

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    Senior Member airfields man's Avatar
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    Default NAYLAND - 1st Lt. Charles F. Gumm Jr Memorial Bench

    Memorial Seat at Nayland, Suffolk.



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    Senior Member Southend Spitfire's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nayland Crash Memorial

    Some information on 1st Lt. Charles F. Gumm Jr. http://www.naylandandwiston.net/Hist.../GummIndex.php

    He chose to crash land his aircraft instead of bailing out so that his aircraft wouldnt create any civilian casualties in Nayland.

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    Default Re: Nayland Crash Memorial

    I remember this! Was Charles Gumm stationed at Boxted?

    Quite right that Nayland is in Suffolk, when we went there from Gt Horkesley, over the border in Essex, we had to show our identity cards!!

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    Default Re: Nayland Crash Memorial

    Quote Originally Posted by pauline View Post
    Was Charles Gumm stationed at Boxted?
    Yes, the 354th Fighter Group (Ninth Air Force) was at Boxted from 13.11.43 until it moved to Lashenden on 17.4.44.

    Interestingly the article in the above link states, 'He joined the 354th Fighter Group of the 355th Fighter Squadron where he undertook his training as a pilot'.
    It should say 355th Fighter Squadron of the 354th Fighter Group. This Group also had the 353rd and 356th Squadrons.

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    Default Re: Nayland Crash Memorial

    Thank you again. I get very confused by all the different USAF Groups, which Group at Boxted had the Red Nosed Thunderbolts which I have mentioned elsewhere, at the risk of repeating myself I skipped off from Sunday School to go and peer through a hedge at them! My mother would have killed me had she known. I like the aerial views of Boxted on the link, I have seen it from this angle on a flight from the airfield with a friend of my fathers.

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    Default Re: Nayland Crash Memorial

    The 354th had Mustangs. The red-nosed Thunderbolts belonged to the 56th Fighter Group (Eighth Air Force) who were at Boxted from 14-04-44 to 09-09-45. They had the two top scoring fighter aces, Francis Gbreski and Robert Johnson, though they were both at Boxted for a very brief period before being allocated to other groups.
    Last edited by Carnaby; 18-02-2012 at 00:04. Reason: typos

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    Default Re: Nayland Crash Memorial

    It sounds as if I must have been looking at red nosed Thunderbolts in late April or early May 1944 then. I can also remember going to the airfield to watch baseball matches as well, and being given chewing gum, I think I would have preferred chocolate!

    Thank you for filling in the dates.

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    Default Re: Nayland Crash Memorial

    Quote Originally Posted by Southend Spitfire View Post
    Some information on 1st Lt. Charles F. Gumm Jr. http://www.naylandandwiston.net/Hist.../GummIndex.php

    He chose to crash land his aircraft instead of bailing out so that his aircraft wouldnt create any civilian casualties in Nayland.
    I have spoken today to my cousin who thinks he is one of those residents of Nayland who owes his life to Charles Gumm as he was at choir practice in the church when the plane crashed, he told me that the noise was horrendous as Court Knoll is very close to the church. The pilot was killed, he said, as he was thrown out onto a tree beside the River Stour. He remembers Mustangs flying in and out of Boxted (which he like me still refers to as Langham) all the time. I thought you might be interested in this first hand account of this tragic incident.

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    Senior Member Southend Spitfire's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nayland Crash Memorial

    Thanks for sharing Pauline. It is good that first hand accounts like these are recorded.

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