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US airmen who saved Upper Heyford are remembered
11:00am Monday 17th September 2012 in News
THE bravery of two American airmen who sacrificed their lives to avoid crashing into a village was remembered yesterday.
Twenty years after pilot Captain Jerry Lindh, 28, and navigator/weapons systems officer Major David ‘Mike’ McGuire, 37, died, a memorial service was staged at Upper Heyford cemetery to remember their loss and their sacrifice.
Maj McGuire’s widow, Kathy McGuire was among 200 there.
On September 17, 1992, the airmen were returning from a routine training flight to the USAF base in their F-111 jet when the aircraft suffered a total hydraulic failure.
Rather than abandon their swing-wing fighter-bomber, they stayed with it to ensure it didn’t crash into village houses.
It hit runway lights, scraped over the Somerton Road and crashed through the base perimeter fence, eventually breaking up below the brow of the hill. Their escape pod ejected but also crashed.
The memorial service was the idea of Lieutenant General Bob Menzies, chairman of Upper Heyford Parish Council.
He said: “It was a very moving service. Kathy McGuire said she found it uplifting. It was an appreciation of an extremely brave sacrificial act by two men.”