Memorial unveiled to seven airmen who were killed in a plane crash 50 years ago

Unveiling of memorial at Holt Country Park. L-R, Dennis Woodcock, David Calver, Nigel Woodcock and B

Unveiling of memorial at Holt Country Park. L-R, Dennis Woodcock, David Calver, Nigel Woodcock and Bernard Taylor. Picture: David Bale - Credit: Archant

A memorial to commemorate seven airmen killed in a plane crash 50 years ago was unveiled at Holt Country Park.

On the night of August 19, 1968, a Victor fighter from RAF Marham and a Canberra from RAF Bruggen in Germany collided above Holt, after an electrical storm knocked out the radar system.

All seven crew members perished, but no-one on the ground was killed, hence it was called The Miracle of Holt.

The New Farm Aviation Heritage Group (NFAHG) organised the memorial after a member suggested investigating the woodland.

After being allowed to search the park last year, they found bits of wreckage from the crash.

The group, which runs a small museum in Frettenham, organised the information board memorial today, and also brought some of the wreckage from both planes to the site. The event went well despite the bugler being unable to attend to play the Last Post.

Trevor Hewitt, curator and owner of the NFAHG museum, said: 'It's one of the biggest projects that we have undertaken. It's been a long journey. We got together over a year ago. It's a milestone.

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'It's been a pleasure working with North Norfolk District Council and the Holt Country Park rangers on the project. They have been instrumental in getting it done. Also, Gresham's School and Kelling Hospital gave us unprecedented access to search their sites for pieces of wreckage.

'I'm very pleased that the project has come to fruition.'

David Calver, the NFAHG chairman, said: 'For a group as young as ours, this is the biggest presentation we have done.

'It all started when we asked NNDC if we could detect for wreckage in the woods. We decided on the memorial at a committee meeting, and tied it up with the 50th anniversary of the crash.'

Steve Roberts, curator at RAF Marham aviation heritage centre museum, said: 'This event means a great deal to the RAF family from RAF Marham. It's about remembering a crew that never returned 50 years ago. All our crews are important to us and it's important to remember them with respect and dignity.'