I VISITED the crash site at Meltham Moor (Nostalgia April 12) at the beginning of the 1960s, armed with grid number and information given to me, on my walks in the Peak District, by Ronnie Wilkinson, who later became, along with Ron Collier, authors in the 1970s of the book Dark Peak Wrecks.

At that time I made inquiries of my own which were later partly confirmed by the facts in the book.

This is what I found: Fortress B-179 43-37667 of 447 bomb group USAAF crashed on April 6, 1945, at Meltham Moors, and not September as reported in the paper. The war was still on and all war restrictions were still binding. The five-man crew was pilot Winnie Johnson, co-pilot Raymond Parks, navigator Walter Vukelic, mechanic Robert Schnug and radio operator Robert Woodbeck.

At the time of the crash Parks was at the controls, while Johnson and Vukelic were at the front trying to identify their position. The two men, on impact, were catapulted through the nose on to the moor, and were badly injured. Johnson died about 16 years later from his injuries. The other three, who only sustained minor injuries, managed to get everyone safely away before the fuel ignited. One of the uninjured eventually managed to reach Waterman’s Cottage, where Mrs Tasker answered his knock and the rescue began. It was about 9pm and the Fortress had left the base at 5.10pm.

It came to my knowledge at that time that three Meltham lads visited the crash site before it was dealt with by the Americans. If they are still alive it would be nice to hear from them.

tony sosna


Cash lasted until pay day!

IN reply to Mrs Addison’s letter (April 9) regarding child allowance, you are correct; it was definitely (40p) 8 shillings, not 25d which was only 2/1d.

I remember, because after the birth of my second child 56 years ago, I was grateful many times to get it on a Tuesday and tide me over to Friday pay day.

We seemed to be able to get a lot for that small amount, enough to eat well and fish and chips were a cheap nutritious meal. I don’t think they had increased in price a lot from the 40s when I was still young at home and I used to get fish and chips six times for 1/6d (8p). I too got that wonderful gift of 25p when I was 80 and it won’t even buy me a first-class stamp!

We may have been a bit short of money, but we were happy and saved up for anything we needed, no credit cards for us.

a nostalgic mum

Undercover appeal

HUDDERSFIELD needs more shops under cover and this is where the proposed Kingsgate expansion may have the edge over proposals to extend the Piazza, where the lack of proper cover shows on wet and windy days.

And, surely, that soggy, scrappy grass needs flagging over?

It’s a pity Kingsgate cannot be linked with the Piazza, where the new glass roof between Smiths and Boots is a big improvement.

Perhaps a radical rethink is necessary, why not combine the separate proposals to expand Kingsgate and the Piazza? Buxton Road should be abandoned as a shopping area, demolished and a car park/office/flats area developed in its place.

The area comprising New Street, King Street and Ramsden Street, all down to Kingsgate, should all be redeveloped and linked into a revamped, maybe extended Piazza, incorporating the market.

The library and Town Hall could then be opened up.

What the town doesn’t need is competing separate developments but a co-ordinated, linked shopping centre, under cover for the most part, keeping the shopping area in the town centre, not straggling out to the ring road. It isn’t too late yet.

mirfield resident

We’re coping without our stones!

REPORTED in the Examiner (April 11) that coping stones stolen from a wall in Hepworth are to be replaced by concrete slabs. Well done your councillors. We in Colne Bridge had coping stones stolen from a wall on Dalton Bank Road years ago. But unfortunately they have not been replaced with anything. Our Dalton ward councillors don’t seem to be interested.

howard perrin

Colne Bridge